The old man at the museum,
Which is really only
A small collection of
Wood carvings he did himself,
Is a few marbles short,
And he tries to get whatever
He can from whoever comes by,
Which isn’t very often.
Behind the school a few kilometers
Up a craggy trail is a stream,
That comes from a dirty pipe,
Next to the Buddha stone
That has incredible healing power,
So that’s why pregnant women
Rub the water on their children,
Or why it made two men very sick.
The red apartment complex behind
The internet cafe was supposed
To be a collection of four buildings,
But the workers got lazy,
Or a bureaucrat got greedy,
But now there is only one,
And that one is very nice and modern
But it is owned by the Chinese.
The beekeepers brought great things
With their combs and honey,
And everyone has a garden of their own,
So they built a root cellar,
Grand enough for the entire village,
But the digging suddenly stopped,
And passersby decided to repurpose
The hole to hold their refuse.
There are drunkards squatting
In the shade of convenience stores
Or in checkered shadows of fences,
Crushed cans and shattered bottles
Can be found ingrained everywhere,
They start as soon as someone
Will sell them a bottle of poison
And won’t stop until someone stops.
Everyone knows everyone else
Like some sort of cliché from
A forgotten time where I’m from,
So news travels as fast as an echo,
With reputations lasting longer
Than the reign of legends,
But the streets are empty with dust,
The sun your only companion.
Author’s note: You sure do hear a lot of strange stories when you live in such a small village.