I decided on a gleeful whim one evening to entertain
The travelling musicians who played priceless violins
And promised them that, following my advice, they’d regain
The boundless joy they had access to as children
Without apparent spiritual or moral compromise
Or sacrifice of a productive life or useful, healthy limb.

I went out, as you could have guessed, on quite a trembling limb.
In my gleeful, whimsical, quest to chat and entertain,
I made an unexpected but productive compromise:
I’d be the low-paid but respected valet to their violins
So they could have the freedom to access their inner children
And a sliver of that earthly paradise they could regain.

The dignity I’d built up for myself, alas, I could not regain.
I left my house and left my dear husband on a shaky limb,
And bid a long, tearful farewell to my beloved children.
I left some dreams and hopes with them which they could entertain:
The travels and travails I would encounter with the violins
And the moral standards I would not ever, ever, ever compromise.

The very next morning, however, a most alarming compromise
Was discovered in the backmost wagon: we would not regain
Possession of our precious, life-sustaining, costly violins
Unless we agreed to risk our life and (maybe–God forbid) our limb:
Unless we’d promise, under oath, to gladly entertain
A certain loathsome Mafioso’s spoiled, ungrateful children.

Let me say something about the situation with the children.
Their father was all too willing to sneak about and compromise
Basic human decency to capture us. We’d entertain
His offspring, in far-fetched and vengeful hopes that he would soon regain
The dignity he lost when, one fateful evening, his lower limb
Was sawed off by my rebel musicians! Who played rebellious violins!

And so, briefly repossessing and caressing their violins
For the sake of entertaining the Mafioso’s children,
The musicians performed, they shredded, hopped along from limb to limb,
An embarrassing display, a dreadful moral compromise!
At this rate, the childhood I had promised they’d never regain
If they were bound by oath and Mafioso threats to entertain.

Under the screeching violins, we all refused to compromise:
The spoiled, ungrateful children now had nothing to regain–
We went out on a limb, defenstrated the Mafioso–that’s how you entertain!

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