Poems of the Week

Finnishing School

by Julia Griffin

“After President Donald Trump suggested Finland has few wildfires because the nation spends a lot of time ‘raking and cleaning’ forest floors, many were confused. …
Under the hashtag #haravointi (‘raking’), some Finns spent this weekend grabbing their gardening tools—with the more creative types picking up their vacuums and Roomba devices—
and visiting the woods to document their public service.”—Vox

Hoovering a Finnish forest,
As the flower of Finland do,
I observed a foreign tourist
Who had clearly not a clue.

“Sir,” he frowned, “what is your meaning,
If a stranger might inquire?”
I responded, “I am cleaning
To avoid the risk of fire.

“This commission is entrusted
To each able-bodied Finn;
For as long as woods are dusted,
Conflagrations can’t begin.

“It’s the safest sort of science,
Inexpensive and discreet;
Simply wield this small appliance,
And you halt excessive heat.

“Friend, it is a blest maneuver
Which the States should swiftly learn!
For without a timely hoover,
You’ll have nothing left to burn.”