THE MONKEY’S PAW by Ron Larson

(Adapted from a story by W.W. Jacobs)

Their son dropped out of school to help pay the bills,
But his mom and dad were still in deep debt.
Heath problems and low pay at the town’s two mills
Were causing the family to be quite upset.

They were to be evicted in just a few weeks,
And a weird friend had heard of their dire plight.
He had just returned from a trip overseas,
So he visited them one stormy night.

He had acquired a dried monkey’s paw
Which he said grants three wishes to its owner.
He gave the monkey’s paw to them that drear fall.
When he left, dad called him a crazy loner.

Yet, dad asked the sere paw for ten thousand dollars.
As the weeks passed, no windfall came their way.
It seemed, they would soon be living in squalor.
Then tragedy struck them on a cold Friday.

Their son was killed in a mill accident.
The funeral room was filled with grief and gloom.
Then they received a check as a settlement,
The ten thousand dollars weren’t seen as a boon.

Crying, mom wished that her dead son was back.
Suddenly, there was knocking on the door.
Weeping, dad made a third wish just like that.
The knocking stopped and was heard no more.


Ron Larson is a retired community college professor (Ph.D.), and one of his hobbies is writing all kinds of poetry.  His poems have been published in such diverse magazines as The Stray Branch,Soul Fountain, Aphelion, Big Pulp, Westward Quarterly, The Horror Zine, and The American Dissident.  His attached poem, “The Monkey’s Paw,” is from his recently self-published book, “66 Classic Horror Stories Outlined in Rhyme.” His poem has not been submitted elsewhere.  Larson’s web site is: It currently features Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” and Shakespeare’s “King Lear.”  His email is: