by Christopher Thomas Elliott
Let me tell the story about a peaceful town.
One day at the reservoir the mayor’s daughter drowned.
How could this have happened to a child so pure?
In despair, the mayor jumped off the dam for her.
At the funeral of the daughter, they rang a lonesome bell.
At the funeral of the father, they cursed his soul to hell.
From that moment on, things could never be the same
The water turned to poison and the poison turned to rain.
His widow had a nightmare swimming with their ghosts.
The preacher killed a sparrow just to see it float.
Billy’s sweetheart cried, “Billy, I can‘t swim.”
He said, “Our baby’s better off unborn,” and pushed her in.
Brothers turned on sisters, husbands turned on wives,
Day by day the broken hearts jumped off the dam to die.
Until the last remaining child learned the lesson well
And said, “Now I must do what others do unto themselves.”
As the bodies sank, the water level rose,
Until the levee broke and the bitter waters flowed,
Pouring through the rivers, filling up the sea,
Flooding all the world, and washing over you and me.