There was a time when the guillotine meant progress,
Past the hacking axe, the slippery sword,
The gagging hangman’s noose.
There was a man who had his head replaced
With a wooden head with one eye on the front
And the other on the westside shaded with a
Green and white striped awning. A little
Windowbox stood under it filled to over-flowing
With sweet-smelling come-give-cream-to-granny
Roses. Purple martins flew in and out of his
Head in the early evening. Little glass lizards
Sunned themselves on him in the morning.
The paperboy really tried to deliver the paper
Very gently. And this, too, was progress.
From Verse, Volume 18, Numbers 2 & 3 (2001). Reprinted in Hat on a Pond (Verse Press, 2001). All rights reserved. For more information about this issue, see Arielle Greenberg's poem below. The new issue of Verse--Volume 20, Numbers 2 & 3 (2004)--includes an interview with Wier.