The Magician’s Reward

by Ed Parrish

He set his table in the streets, and there he made his way,
He conjured in the evening, earned his money day by day,
He started as a young man, the magic fit him right,
With coins and cards and cups and balls, he worked the bars at night.

Playing for throw money, “The bills, please. Keep your change.”
And for the pay showed miracles, impossible and strange,
A million people gasped in awe, a million laughed and clapped,
Sometimes a hundred in the crowd dropped money in his hat.

The years went by so quickly; the streets all became the same,
And everywhere he chose to work, they learned the wizard’s name,
But once when they expected him, he didn’t come that day,
And not the next and nevermore. They heard he’d passed away.

He didn’t know he’d died that night, not ‘til he saw the gates,
Saint Peter showed puff-cloudy heaven, a grin upon his face,
“Jehovah understands the cups – and the little balls therein,
“He says to ask you how the big ones get there at the end.”

“Is that my price for paradise?” The magician asked per-litely,
“Yep. Just give it up. I’ll let you in. You’ll be with our God Almighty.”
Now heaven looked so pretty, and Saint Peter’s deal seemed fair,
But the magic man thought of all the magicians who’d preceded him up there.

And not a one had told the tale, no one had spilt the beans,
Well, he wouldn’t be the first one. “I know just what this means,
“But keep your heaven to y’rselves. I choose to spend eternity,
“With those like me who keep the faith, the magical fraternity.”

“And though it means I’ll burn in hell, then that’s the price I’ll pay,
“You may get the secret sometime, but not from me today.”
That’s when Saint Peter transformed, became a hid’ous beast,
And the illusion just be’ind him changed from the great – into the least.

And cussin’ like a sailor, the divvil blew away,
The magician found himself in glory on a bright, sunshiny day,
He met the real Saint Peter there in the golden halls,
Saint Peter cheered and clapped and asked,

“Would ya’ do the cups and balls?”