Poems of the Week

The Terribly Nice Tale of Juniper Bilberry-Bryce

by Nina Parmenter

Rumors surfaced recently that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been backed by hedge fund managers who stand to make “billions of pounds” from a disorderly Brexit. 

She married a doctor who paid all the bills
and they settled in England’s impeccable hills.
Her bushes were trimmed and her borders pristine,
she was quite the big deal on the tea party scene
where she wowed with her baking advice,
did Juniper Bilberry-Bryce.

She read all the papers the dear doctor bought—
it was so much more simple than forming a thought.
“The country’s in chaos!” they told her. “It’s time
to slash immigration! To crack down on crime!”
“These mean streets have never been meaner,”
she said to her Latvian cleaner.

Now, meanwhile, in London, a leader arose
whom the editors feted with toadying prose.
He promised the people a piece of the pie
as he dined with the damned and the succubi.
“I hear that he’s awfully nice,”
said Juniper Bilberry-Bryce.

He doubled the army and armed the police,
he sold off the forests for five pounds a piece,
he schooled the achievers, excluded the rest
and the papers declared he was simply the best!
But then, from the earth and the skies,
his sponsors appeared for their prize.

As the hellmouth spilled over with demons and brutes
who trampled all over her runner-bean shoots,
thought Juniper, “What would the editors say?”
So she picked up a pitchfork, joined in the fray,
and sent England to hell in a trice,
did Juniper Bilberry-Bryce.