By Hannah Six
Turn away from the amethyst afternoon sky.
Turn away, turn away, and don't raise your eyes!
My children, your father is gone now, for good,
And we're all alone in this strange neighborhood.
What happened, you ask? Well, you'll hear by and by...
He was eaten by African hippopotami.
Your daddy went swimming, unaware of his fate...
Like black clouds in the river, those beasts lay in wait.
One moment he was there, and then without a sound,
He was gone! A strong swimmer, he'd never have drowned...
So, they dredged through the muck, 'til one man, with a cry,
Held aloft daddy's hat, chewed by hippopotami.
Thank Auntie for the nice green-bean casserole,
And be careful, dear, that you don't drop her red bowl.
Seal it up with that precious, pricey tin foil,
And then fill the kettle--let me know when it boils.
Now, leave us to talk, dear, your Auntie and I,
About money, and daddy, and hippopotami.
No, Mrs. Jones, there won't be a casket.
The pieces they found wouldn't fill a small basket.
Why, yes, little Amy, there will be a grave,
Where we can go visit the parts they could save
From the sluggish brown water flowing tranquilly by
Where my beloved was eaten by hippopotami.
Thank you, Reverend, the service couldn't have been sweeter.
Now, here comes my poor mother; I'd like you to meet her.
The cakes and the punch will be served now, at home,
By some church ladies who think I shouldn't be alone.
But I'm not! My dear children are there by my side,
When I wake screaming, from nightmares of hippopotami.
Sweet dreams now, my dear hearts, your prayers are all said;
You were kind to remember your poor father, who's dead.
Kiss Mama good night, little golden-haired boy.
And my girl, let me help you to tuck in your toys--
Your favorite animals, soft and blue as the sky,
Birthday gifts from your daddy: three hippopotami.
Monday, April 08, 2013