“THE BOX”

Once upon a time, in the land of Hush-a-Bye

Around about the wondrous days of yore,

They came across a kind of box

Bound up with chains and locked with locks

And labeled “Kindly do not touch; its WAR.”

... The children understood; children happen to be good

They never tried to play about with WAR.

... Not the ones to blame somehow

For opening up that deadly box of WAR.

But someone did! Opened and let out the terrible ball of WAR!

It bumped the children mainly; and I’ll tell you this quite plainly,

It bumps them every day, more and more,

And leaves them dead, and burned, and crying. …

Now there’s a way to stop the ball; it isn’t difficult at all.

All it takes is WISDOM, and I’m absolutely sure

That we can get it back in the box, and bind the chains and lock the locks.

But no one seems to want to save the children anymore.

... And the time they came across the box,

Bound up with chains and locked with locks,

And labeled “Kindly do not touch; it’s WAR.”

That sounds a little like an evil Dr. Seuss, doesn’t it?

The poet is Lascelles Abercrombie, who resided for a time in the same English town as Robert Frost. I use it as segue to the sad and classic true story to be presented by Theatre of Gadsden the last two weeks of September, “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

Anne lived in hiding from the German Nazis the last two years of her brief life. The diary tells of her hopes and dreams while in hiding. The cast includes Krista Bischoff, Forrest Hinton, Bret Flecher, Pati Tiller, Adrianna Nix, Trey Miller, Fran Summerlin, Nathan Kay, David Brown, Andrew Fuller, Trevor Rigsby, Mike Lasseter, Corey Ellis and McKenna Hodge as Anne.

I have a haunting feeling about this play, as if it yearns to reach out to our world. As Anne says, “I see the world slowly being turned in to a wilderness; I hear the rolling thunder that will one day destroy us, too. I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up into the sky, I feel that it will all be better; that this cruelty, too, shall end, that peace and tranquility shall return again.”

Get your tickets early; see the timeliness of this beautiful story in the 75th anniversary of its happening.

Also this month, we celebrate — all month, not just one day like everyone else — the birth of my hopelessly spoiled daughter, Christie Weems. May you always have the sunny outlook and hope for tomorrow that you have always had. You have much in common with Anne.

It’s 6:30. The yellow evening is sinking down to the still-summer, velvet night. I’ll lie down soon; my world wrapped close about me. Grateful for another normal ordinary day, ‘round town.

Glenda Byars is a correspondent for The Gadsden Times. Send submissions to glendabyars@comcast.net.