A Finnish Story*
Landless, she worked on the land of a great landlord and his lady
where the grass was lush and fat cows blinked at the northern light
But she had to walk thirty miles with a fish and a pound of butter
and having an honest heart she told everyone she met on the way
that the good fish and butter she was carrying were for her son
and had been given to her by the lady of her great landlord
because her son was in prison
The northern air was as sharp as the spiny fins of a fish
and the sun was the colour of pale butter
and she had to walk thirty miles
For part of the way she was given a lift by a farmer
and as she always babbled and spoke from the heart
she said the lady of the estate with lush grass and white birches
had given her a fish and a pound of butter for her son in prison
But when she told him her son was a Red
(it was the time after the civil war)
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