small potatoes

Misalliance Flanders/Swann ©1957 Mechanical Copyright Protection Soc.


The fragrant honeysuckle spirals clockwise to the sun
And many other creepers do the same
But some climb anticlockwise; the bindweed does, for one
Or Convulvulus, to give its proper name
Rooted on either side of the door, one of each species grew
And raced towards the window ledge above
Each corkscrewed to the lintel in the only way it knew
Where they stopped, touched tendrils, smiled, and fell in love
Said the right-hand-thread honeysuckle to the left-hand-thread bindweed
“Oh! Let us get married if my parents don't mind. We’d
Be loving and inseparable, inexplicably entwined. We'd
Live happily ever after,” said the honeysuckle to the bindweed.
To the honeysuckle's parents it came as a shock
“The bindweed,” they said, “are inferior stock
They're uncultivated, of breeding bereft
We twine to the right and they twine to the left”
Said the anticlockwise bindweed to the clockwise honeysuckle
“We’d better start saving—many a mickle mak's a muckle—
Then run away for a honeymoon and hope that our luck'll
Take a turn for the better,” said the bindweed to the honeysuckle
A bee who was passing remarked to them then
“I've said it before and I'll say it again
Consider your offshoot, if offshoots there be
They'll never receive any blessings from me”
Poor little sucker! How will it learn
When it's climbing which way to turn?
Right? Left? What a disgrace!
Or it may go straight upwards and fall flat on its face
Said the right-hand-thread honeysuckle to the left-hand-thread bindweed
“It seems that against us all fate has combined
Oh, my darling, Oh, my darling, Oh, my darling Columbine
Thou art lost and gone forever. We shall never entwine."
Together they found them the very next day
They had pulled up their roots and just shriveled away
Deprived of the freedom for which we must fight
To veer to the left, or to veer to the right





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