Thirteen thousand people came to see
my pictures, eager as the honey bee
for the flowers; and I’ll tell you what
all eyes sought the same old spot
in every picture, every time,
and gazed and gloated without rhyme
or reason, where the leaf should be
the fig-leaf that was not, woe is me!
And they blushed, they giggled, they sniggered, they leered,
or they boiled and they fumed, in fury they sneered
and said: Oh boy! I tell you what,
look at that one there, that’s pretty hot! —
And they stared and they stared, the half-witted lot
at the spot where the fig-leaf just was not!
But why, I ask you? Oh tell me why?
Aren’t they made quite the same, then, as you and I?
Can it be they’ve been trimmed, so they’ve never seen
the innocent member that a fig-leaf will screen?
What’s the matter with them? aren’t they women and men?
or is something missing? or what’s wrong with them then?
that they stared and leered at the single spot
where a fig-leaf might have been, and was not.
I thought it was a commonplace
that a man or a woman in a state of grace
in puris naturalibus, don’t you see,
had normal pudenda, like you and me.
But it can’t be so, for they behaved
like lunatics looking, they bubbled and raved
or gloated or peeped at the simple spot
where a fig-leaf might have been, but was not.
I tell you, there must be something wrong
with my fellow-countrymen; or else I don’t belong.