The pied piper is a rat named Mick,
feeding on the youth,
thriving on innocence,
steeling our children,
because we haven’t paid him off.
It was a holy place,
a place where you went to get away,
a place of joy, fun, magic and mystery,
born and residing in fantasy.
The fantasy of the mind,
hopes and dreams to begin a life
imagining all possibilities
singing wishes upon starry nights
fireworks exploding behind grey castle walls.
You entered through the great iron gate,
stolen from Auschwitz with an inscription that reads
“the happiest place on earth.”
Recreated from “Abandon all hope ye…”
Leagues of children walk barefoot
down a diamond studded main street paved in gold
approaching the castle with its drawbridge up
the ones in the front stop, but are pushed forward
by the thousands of giggling behind.
All faces, all races, with no discrimination.
The screams are drowned out by the laughter
as the children in front fall and attempt to wade
through a moat of broken glass
that quickly turns into a red river
thick with children wailing and bleeding
piled high enough to storm the castle wall.
Beyond, a giant rat with great sharp teeth
standing atop a pink storybook building.
It’s a small world, the bell tolls
and the great pink doors open
for the youth to be taken
into the depths of industrial land
where children fight with razors
just to see who’s the favorite.
It’s the corner stone of big business
as somewhere in South America
a man stands in an alley wearing a suit
on his head a two-hundred dollar haircut
beneath two large round plastic ears
a very fanciful ‘D’ displayed on his name tag
in the darkness deals are made, drugs are sold
and traded to fill labor camps
because in South America,
children are cheap.