LISA HOPELESS – Leading off tonight, we have the City of Victoria’s Poet-in-Residence, Amanda Manhater.
AMANDA – It’s pronounced Manhauter.
LISA HOPELESS – Whatever.
AMANDA – Thank-you mayor and council. My poem is titled Patriarchy and is inspired by the MeToo movement.
COUNCILLOR CURMUDGEON – Oh boy! I can hardly wait!
Ugly men with evil minds
Leering at women’s behinds.
Penis here, penis there,
Keep it in your underwear.
Jack be nimble, Jack be quick,
Jack you chauvinistic piece of shit.
Though the road may be long,
The sisters remain strong,
Gonna right this wrong,
Old white men BEGONE!
COUNCILLOR ALTERNATIVE REALITY – That was beautiful!
COUNCILLOR COALMAN – Depending on your perspective.
LISA HOPELESS – Thank-you, Amanda. Now for our first order of business . . . Councillor Loveflake, why is your hand up?
COUNCILLOR LOVEFLAKE – If I might remind the mayor we have another poet on the premises.
LISA HOPELESS – Another poet?
COUNCILLOR LOVEFLAKE – A little more fun-sized, if you get my drift.
LISA HOPELESS– What a dolt! I almost forgot about our Toddler-Poet-in-Residence program, the first in Canada, if not the galaxy. Mr. Coax, the microphone might be a little high for our next speaker so you might consider getting off your two-hundred-thousand-dollar-a-year ass and adjusting it for her. Thanks. What’s your name little girl?
SUNSHINE – My name’s Sunshine and I’m free years old.
LISA HOPELESS – And I understand you’ve written a very special poem for us tonight. What’s the name of your poem, Sunshine?
SUNSHINE – My poem’s called Beacon Hill Park.
LISA HOPELESS – I’d love to hear it.
BEACON HILL PARK
Two paths diverged in a yellow wood
I took the path more twaveled
And petted a goat at the Petting Zoo.
COUNCILLOR ALTERNATIVE REALITY – A remarkable achievement.
COUNCILLOR COALMAN – Especially for one so young.
SUNSHINE– I’d like to thank Uncle Jewemy for all of his help.
COUNCILLOR LOVEFLAKE – (Cough) I just tweaked it a bit.
SUNSHINE– By the way, Mom says she’ll leave the back door unlocked if you’re coming over tonight.
LISA HOPELESS – Thank-you, Sunshine. We look forward to hearing more of your verse in the future. But now I think it’s time for bed . . .Yes, Councillor Curmudgeon? What is it?
COUNCILLOR CURMUDGEON – In all my years on council, I can guarantee you this is the first I’ve ever had to listen to a poetry reading let alone a goddamn toddler poetry reading!
LISA HOPELESS – I’d remind you to watch your language, councillor. There are children in the room.