The painting Er gaan koppen rollen (Heads will roll) by Marcel Herms is the inspiration for this poem, day 19 of Paul Brookes’ challenge.
It starts with the scattered toys,
the possession and destruction, little brother
creeping to mother to cry, whinge,
your defensive fists clenching
and denial of the broken shards,
the wheels and sprung guts of toys.
Then at school,
your defence of the right answer,
denouncing the cheat, the one who
is lost, muddled, left behind,
the sly jibes that make them all laugh.
He’ll go far, that one, they say.
He looks out for himself.
And you did, do, will,
you are there, with your many faces
all the same, looking down at us
from the high places,
signing the papers
that will scatter the shards
and sprung guts of the world.