The Cuckoo Clock Shop

There is a small gate invitingly open
To a path narrow and stony through a cottage garden
To a door with the sign above
The Cuckoo Clock Shop
Unreal world we enter
Into a rain of tik-tak-tik-taking seconds
A little old lady smiling
Winds up all the carved dark wood masterpieces
She makes them play their tunes and all their dwellers appear
To drink their beer and crash their glasses
In toast to friendship
The wood-cutters bend to and fro over their long saws
And the men and women in their fancy outfits
Dance on the balconies round and around
And the old little lady smiles proudly

What if they started
Arguing loudly about
Politics history wars religion immigrants dishonesty in sport
And money when it comes to the core of it all
And some husband would bash his unfaithful Helga
On the minute terrace
Above the big hand of the clock too fast
Missing the noon for just about a minute

But then the shopkeeper lets the music stop
And she looks at me with questioning eyes
Teary with nostalgia
In this gingerbread house from a fairytale
On my trip across the Australian outback
I can afford nothing
But she is happy to let me
Buy nothing else but a myth
Of her happy village in Schwarzwald

Anna Habryn (Western Australia)

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