In the Flowery Countryside

Where shall we put the bodies, sir,

fifty thousand more today

and that is just at dawn

the cemetery’s gates are chained,

undertaker’s curtains drawn


curtains drawn good man? this will just not do

dig another trench, deep and wide;

but do not upset the people,

dig it out of sight


dig it out of sight dear sir?

the woods beyond the city are full,

there are few spaces now to hide

perhaps we should head further out,

in the flowery countryside?


in the flowery countryside? yes, good man, that might do

there is no time to spare

and do try to be good,

place them down with gentle care


place them down with gentle care, of course I want to sir,

but backhoe bucket does not allow

for gentleness in placing down;

perhaps some farmers will lend a hand


farmers might lend a hand good man?

indeed, this could save time,

now be sure to bury them deep enough

in the flowery countryside


in the flowery countryside is where I’ve been, sir,

and farmer’s time was loaned

we did run out of markers, but

we marked the places with stones


marked the places with stones good man,

that was very kind

sadly now, you must stay

away from the flowery countryside


the farmers cry, no more! no more!

and leaders claim this problem is not theirs

perhaps the only thing to do now, good man

is load the trucks and head towards the capital city’s front stairs


—July 4, 2020


Author: Kelly Madden

Kelly Madden writes poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared in anthologies Reckoning 2, Tending the Fire (LCP chapbook), Poetry Pause, Island Writer’s Magazine and elsewhere. She lives in the Comox Valley, BC.

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