bedtime story

unsaid, said the snail.
untold, said the tortoise.
doesn’t matter, said the tiger.
obey me, said the father.
obey me, said the country.
watch me climb, said the fern.
it doesn’t matter, said the tiger.
unsaid, said the snail.
untold, said the tortoise.
I’ll run, said the mouse.
doesn’t matter, said the cat.
I’ll fly, said the sparrow..
doesn’t matter, said the cat.
obey us, said the father and
the country.
everybody shut up!   roared the
tiger.

the night came down.
the lights went out
and the cities
burned.

now, go to
sleep.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1992
Source
Original manuscript