Broke, Broke, Broke
with apologies to Tennyson
Break, break, break
on thy pile of pebbles, O Lake,
where the spew of a gurgling gutter
makes a waterfall that is fake.
O well for the Canada goose
as she scatters her droppings and down;
O well for the gangrenous frog
too bloated with death to drown;
and the sign proclaims its rule:
“NO SWIMMING OR FISHING ALLOWED,”
but O! The sweltering neighborhood kids
still troop here in a crowd.
Break, break, break,
on their small, dirty bodies, O Lake,
and make yourself cool and refreshing
just once for the children’s sake.
Cara Valle’s poems have appeared in The Rotary Dial, Mezzo Cammin, The Lyric, Blue Unicorn, First Things, Think, and Epiphany. She teaches high school literature and poetry while homeschooling her four children in Northern Virginia.