Poetry Month: Warning (Cohen)

Warning

If your neighbour disappears
O if your neighbour disappears
The quiet man who raked his lawn
The girl who always took the sun

Never mention it to your wife
Never say at dinner time
Whatever happened to that man
Who used to rake his lawn

Never say to your daughter
As you’re walking home from church
Funny thing about that girl
I haven’t seen her for a month

And if your son says to you
Nobody lives next door
They’ve all gone away
Send him to bed with no supper

Because it can spread, it can spread
And one fine evening coming home
Your wife and daughter and son
They’ll have caught the idea and will be gone.
– Leonard Cohen, from Let Us Compare Mythologies

Cohen’s official site is worth checking out. More of his poetry is at The Leonard Cohen Files.

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