Grace Paley





The Sad Children’s Song

This house is a wreck said the children
when they came home with their children
Your papers are all over the place
The chairs are covered with books
and look    brown leaves are piled on the floor 
under the wandering Jews

Your face is a wreck said the children
when they came home with their children
There are lines all over your face
your neck’s like a curious turtle’s
Why did you let yourself go?
Where are you going without us?

This world is a wreck said the children
When they came home with their children
There are bombs all over the place
There's no water    the fields are all poisoned
Why did you leave things like this?
Where can we go said the children
what can we say to our children?