THE CIGARETTE STUB AND THE MATCHSTICK
Down in a gutter on a square, midst litter, dirt and waste,
there lay a flattened, weeping stub, and nearby, quite displaced,
there lay a little matchstick from Krüger’s matchstick town:
stray souls night’s masquerading had heartlessly let down.
‘Excuse me, lovely stub,’ said he, ‘A humble match am I
who in life’s treadmill has been spared, although I here do lie,
In Krüger Manufactory’s machine I had my birth,
from nothing he created us – and thus amassed great worth.’
‘Oh my, how riveting, good day,’ the stub said with finesse.
‘I’m from a fine old family, the Chesterfields, no less.
It’s simply a mistake I’ve been discarded, I surmise,
When young one burns so ardently – and that explains my size.’
‘Ah well, young lady, also I have ancestry that’s fine,
Three Stars the matchbox label said, I too am of that line,
and I have brothers everywhere – in every town and shire,
we conflagrate, illuminate, set everything on fire.’
‘If only!’ she said frenziedly, ‘you me could but ignite,
‘you’d taste a full-blown Chesterfield once I am well alight,
and though I’m not as dazzling-white as formerly when young,
I still have my aroma and a taste to please the tongue.’
But both fell silent suddenly when, full of fright, they glanced
a higher being who controlled a sweeper that advanced,
and in a cloud of swirled-up dust the two were forced apart,
and no one felt the matchstick’s pain, the stub’s cries from the heart.
A landfill, though, at Riddersvik was where the two progressed,
midst trash and refuse side by side they lay there tightly pressed,
out came the sun and set alight the matchstick’s fiery top,
the stub she then went up in smoke – the match burnt down nonstop.
Listen to Fred Åkerström sing this song on Guldkorn vol. 2!