This word owes its existence to
A shallow river which flowed through
A hamlet in the Brabant plain
Just scattered farms and lots of rain...
Through a deep valley northward bound
It formed small islands in the town
Which on a language barrier lay
It had two names – both used today:
Dutch says de Zenne and French la Senne;
So with affection way back then
Those born along the waterway
Acquired this nickname; still today
A 'Zinneke' is widely known
Speaking two languages at home
French-speaking Mother, father Dutch
Or switched roles (doesn't matter much)!
Dogs used to toil in the old port
Often mongrels of the poorer sort
They too as 'Zinneke' would roam
Their true parentage unknown.
Tom Frantzen's dog in Rue Chartreux
Reminds us of this dockside cur;
Now a broader canvas is displayed:
May means: the Zinneke Parade!
All colours, cultures and persuasions
Microcosm of all nations
Surreal Brussels is so proud
To strut its stuff to down town crowd!
(c) Poet in the woods 2016