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Paul Dundon © 2003


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They did not see anything
That looked like the NHS
And noted that only some
Are entitled to benefits
From the state
So they decided
That this was not
A socialist country.

They forgot to ask about
The distribution of land
And the property laws.

They noted the energy
And enthusiasm of the Chinese
Their obedience to the regime
And their startling capacity
For collective action
And commented
That this was a
Remarkably docile people.

We spent the evening
Yawning over photos
And suspecting the neighbours.

They did however visit
The Great Wall and there
Bought us each a watch
Which shows Chairman Mao
In profile, head and shoulders,
His left arm waving
In a salute to What
Has Been Accomplished.

Counting the seconds
To the future. In ten years
You'll be reading this in Chinese.




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