Friday, December 25, 2015

Leaving Christmas Day

For Christmas Day, 
the flight of a duck over Idaho snow in 2013, 
snow on the pine, snow on the fences, 
on the small and leafless apple trees,
and Miller Williams' delightful romp 
through revised story tales.

On Word That the Old Children's 
Stories Have Been Brought Up to Date

The Farmer's Wife missed the tails entirely.
Jack and the Giant became the best of friends.
The boy cried wolf again and the people came
but didn't hurt the wolf, just sent it hence.

Young Ms. Hubbard's cupboard was full of bones.
Humpty Dumpty bounced like a rubber ball.
The woman who lived in a shoe was kind to her kids.
Ms. Muffet was not afraid of spiders at all.

So now does Icarus flutter down to the sea
and swim ashore? Does Cyclops keep his eye?
Doesn't Achilles worry about his heel?
Are there no consequences? Does no one die?

Is this what we say to the kids---You can be bad,
but, hey, its OK, nobody's going to get mad?

Miller Williams

The Ways We Touch; poems by Miller Williams
University of Illinois Press, 1997, page 19.

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