Oncce Upon A Time - Poem by Oskar Hansen
Once Upon a Time
The small river and the tiny lake we used to swim
had muddy looking water, ugly fish and a crocodile
which ate a goat with a bell that continued to toll?
In the beasts stomach, and warned us when it was
time to get out of the water.
Gypsy children bathed here while their mothers
washed and watched by the shore.
Then the small river and the tiny lake was bought
by a consortium, a tall fence erected and work
began to make the place into a rural, nature park.
Where the river ends, a cascade falls in to the lake
and the water is clean and clear, the bottom of
the lake is cemented and painted blue. Of course
there is an entrance fee to this Paradise, a café that
sells coffee, hot dogs, and ice cold beer.
Gypsy children are not welcome here- not many
places else- they have to find another muddy river
and a lake, not yet sold, to the highest bidder, in our
blessed, divisive democracy.
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