I Chop Some Parsley While Listening To Art Blakey's Version Of "Three Blind Mice"

And I start wondering how they came to be blind.
If it was congenital, they could be brothers and sister,
and I think of the poor mother
brooding over her sightless young triplets.

Or was it a common accident, all three caught
in a searing explosion, a firework perhaps?
If not,
if each came to his or her blindness separately,

how did they ever manage to find one another?
Would it not be difficult for a blind mouse
to locate even one fellow mouse with vision
let alone two other blind ones?

And how, in their tiny darkness,
could they possibly have run after a farmer's wife
or anyone else's wife for that matter?
Not to mention why.

Just so she could cut off their tails
with a carving knife, is the cynic's answer,
but the thought of them without eyes
and now without tails to trail through the moist grass

or slip around the corner of a baseboard
has the cynic who always lounges within me
up off his couch and at the window
trying to hide the rising softness that he feels.

By now I am on to dicing an onion
which might account for the wet stinging
in my own eyes, though Freddie Hubbard's
mournful trumpet on "Blue Moon,"

which happens to be the next cut,
cannot be said to be making matters any better.

by Billy Collins

Comments (6)

great cartoon-like defence of mice, B.C.
I simply cannot stomach this Collinsian hyper cogiation over simple things. Who in his right mind ever thought such absurd things about the three blind mice? Was it congenital? come on! Give me a break. Tell me something honest and worth knowing, not this intellectual posturing that cannot bear even one second of honest scrutiny! ! !
Wonderful Billy Collins Maybe its not three blind mice perhaps its mouse mouse mouse And what about Sage Rosemary and Thyme
This is the cleverest thing I have ever read Ian
Oh my goodness. Billy Collins CAN make a silk purse out of a sow's ears! (and chop parsley at the same time.) Wonderful!
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