The Souls of Children Died in the Wine Garden (Draft 1)
    by Douglas Gilbert

It was a year when
the snide videos
proved the teachers
hated the parents

It was a year of ominous noise,
a year of doom dust and ash,
a smell of sulfur when crows
pecked at eggs and left them

Coming from the ground, far under,
were odd humming and rumbling sounds

those evil sounds were underground like
a swarm of crashing freight trains deep below
like gigantic humming birds as big
flapping their wings like manic dinosaurs
and like angry moose fighting with the Devil

It was a year of strangeness
and a year of hope.

But there were two omens. One was

the cicadas came twice in one year —
once in Spring and once in Fall

the other was that
the rare biting incidents in pre-school
became numerous in the upper grades.

Well actually, more than two omens.
And the mayor was perturbed by
the rumors of
real werewolves, zombies
and Devil worshipers
after the theater re-opened.

Maybe those were not omens
but hysteria or something.

The snide videos
proved the teachers
hated the parents, and
especially me.
Board meetings were
pointless and strange.

When
I caught Mary’s teacher
berating my child
in a zoom thing,
I began my research
on a curse. Nothing
was off the table

My child was always odd
and the teachers hated her
even after her death.

When the UFOs came
and abducted a teacher
we, parents, were not concerned.

Picking off the teachers
of the Wine Garden club
was a good thing:
the aliens had a purpose
for them: needed them
for a scientific study.

The parents
were not concerned about that;
there were more important things.

School resumed in the fall
five days-a-week
full time, but
it was too late
for Mary

Mary had had a little lamb.

In the fall
I visited Mary
in the cemetery, but
her grave was disturbed

When Mrs. Marxwagon,
Mary’s teacher, said
she would sue me
for placing a curse on her,
I laughed; that’s not
a legal term.

I told her
if the lamb bothers you,
eat it.

The Center for Propaganda Control (CPC)
said the outbreak looked like rabies.

I don’t know why
I wished Mary would be alive —
I thought it was a harmless thought
and the visions were delusional from grief.

The nightmare was so real, and
and I woke up hearing myself scream —
I saw Mary walking to school, and
she said, Mommy, I failed the test.

I ignored the humming sound
and I got into my car, but
the lightning was so angry, and
the rain was intense, the cicadas
rose from the ground and the birds
ate as many as they could, and there
was the stench of death and decay
in the eerie fear invading my soul;
in panic I drove to school to see
if Mary was there and desperately
I loved her still, and thought perhaps
like a miracle she was alive, and
passing her tests like
a good little girl
so precious and pure

The authorities were busy
in the front of the school
surrounding the UFOs

I climbed a tree and
jumped onto
the roof of the school.
The cicadas were
crawling all over, and
the birds were swarming.

I came down the stairs.
I saw Mary.

She and the other
dead children
were eating their teachers.

It was a good day.
The authorities
stormed the building.

The aliens vaporized them all.
I suppose they’re friendly.

One thought on “Some say Randi Weingarten Is Not Political; Ibi erit satura est scriptor nasus et sale, si emptorem, sapit.

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