“Once upon a time there was a town where all the people were exceedingly lazy.”
—The Lazy Townspeople
It’s true of course as we all know those
Lazy folks just down the road will do
Just about anything to not do just about
Anything, hoping some nincompoop
Will show up just in time to rake up
All the trash, bag it, maybe recycle it,
And send all that is not wanted on its
Merry way. When even that didn’t
Work out, the old folks were just beside
Themselves to get themselves going
So the place might look a bit more
Spiffy when the man in the white house
Who now owns everything and everyone
Will drive by for a view, and toss a few
Coins to those whose waving hands
Are the highest ever for free handouts.
That was at least the plan. The old town
Though just got older, stinkier, trashier,
And big bugs soon arrived by the millions
So no one could get a night’s rest without
Bites everywhere and anywhere but as
You know, no one knew quite what to do.
We could all make rakes, a ratty man said.
I’ve got a bunch of mowers, said the long
Beard. The smelly old one even kept empty
Bottles of Clorox and Windex just in case.
Everybody said let’s get started, but no
One really started, as no one had ever
Known how to bring spring to the old town.
A well-kept girl crawled under the hedge
That kept those in and those looking out
And she knew right away what might spiff
The place up, shiny and brassy as before.
Follow me, she said, and everybody did
Just that, and soon the town was not ever
There, no one could even remember it,
And then, what nature does best, a big
Wind came through and the wind coughed
It all around the world as it was most
Disgusting with all the dust, and mites,
And those terrible bugs that get into
Everything, and soon the man in the
Big white house drove down to see
His priceless town, and it was so shiny,
Smooth, and not a trace could be found
Of the terrible people who once called
What once was trash, what once was home,
A fine place to wave his tiny, clean hands.
—DeWitt Clinton © 2018