A friend writes to suggest that George Zimmerman’s detention on domestic-violence charges offers me the opportunity to crow. I am reminded of a fine old Bert Williams song that I once heard Dave van Ronk perform.
Ivory bones with ebony dots
oft lead to cemetery lots.
A game last night brought on a fight
that ended up in pistol shots.
I was the furthest from the door;
the others all got out before.
Upon the floor a man lay dead,
and through the transom someone said—
Somebody will have to stay behind.
Someone must remain.
And later, when the police arrive,
explain why this, our brother,
is no longer alive.
The man who stays and sees it through
will gain celebrity.
It’s a wonderful chance for somebody.
Somebody else, not me.