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High Crimes and Nursery Rhymes

A poem by Beverly Stock.

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Punishment, then mercy, violence, and then lies,

Each read to young children to expand their minds.

Guileless, young imaginations at the start,

Taught old fairy tales, marchens* and their counterparts.


Famous city bridges** made from small children’s bones,

Pigs with building permits who were blown from their homes,

Or, a cross-dressing wolf with a murderous mind.

Just who writes about mice when the poor things are blind?


The breaking of promises, animal abuse,

Robbery and lying or an egg breaking loose,

Who ignores happiness, love, or a lasting truce?

A rampaging Mother with the last name of Goose.



*Marchen - a fairy story or fable

**The theory that London Bridge is Falling Down refers to a practice first recorded by Alice Bertha Gomme in “The Traditional Games of England, Scotland and Ireland (1894–1898)”. The idea is that London Bridge would fall down unless human sacrifices were buried in the foundations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Bridge_Is_Falling_Down


The European Journal of Educational Studies investigated nursery rhymes and found that in 15 of 45 nursery rhymes studied, values were mentioned. Those were punishment, mercy, industriousness, violence, robbery, loyalty, love, breaking promises, cruelty to animals, lying and disloyalty.” https://oapub.org/edu/index.php/ejes/article/view/426

Beverly Stock is an American poet who delights in creating poetry that asks big questions about small moments, and inspires readers to revisit the little memories we so often overlook. Her work has been published by The Society of Classical Poets, The Chained Muse, Persimmon Tree, and LightenUp-Online, in the UK. Visit BeverlyStockPoetry.com and BeverlyStockPoetry on Facebook.

High Crimes and Nursery Rhymes

© 2020 Beverly Stock


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