Harper's Bizarro

by Merle Amodeo

Yesterday started off
like a bugle blast.
I did the crossword –
quick version – not the cryptic
in 4 min. 37 sec.
to the delight of my Schnauzer
who watches my daily challenges
silently shifting from paw to paw.
He’s figured out the quicker I scratch down
the words, the sooner we’ll bounce along the sidewalk
on our 2 kilometer trek.
But little did he know
we’d be delayed by a knock as we prepared
to walk out the door.
Stephen Harper stood there, a smile on his face
honestly, a warm smile, hand extended,
asking for my vote.
This was the first time a Prime Minister
had interrupted our walk.
Bruno was unimpressed with the timbits Harper offered,
but my mother always told me
that if ever a Prime Minister drops in,
it’s always fitting to offer your finest fare.
I popped a leftover Big Mac in the oven,
opened a cool can of Canada Dry,
fitting, I thought, for the moment.
Then poured a cup of Timmy’s,
cold but bracing.
We sat on the green leather couch
I’d bought at Leon’s in the Labour Day sales.
(I must have had a premonition!)
Stephen wanted to know how I felt about
the HST and private medicare.
I insisted that everyone’s health should be private,
especially mine.
When we’d cleared away the leftovers,
I wanted to take Stephen to Canadian Tire,
patriotic as I am, but by then,
Bruno was chewing on Harper’s pant leg.
Decided Pet Smart was more suitable.
I drove Bruno and Stephen in my Mazda
(shamefaced that it wasn’t a Chevy.)
But he didn’t seem to notice
as he counted the fading Liberal signs on my street.
I realized after we entered that Stephen didn’t comprehend
this was a store where dogs are king,
or Prime Minister, as the case may be.
I watched him as he glad handed the customers,
pumping their arms as though the well had gone dry.
I wondered if it was time to tell him the awful truth
that the election was over
and he was now a private citizen,
or at least would be momentarily,
but I didn’t have the heart to do it.
So the next time you buy Alpo
whether it’s in Oshawa, Duncan,
Brandon, Swift Current, or
Moose Jaw,
Please, break it to him
gently
that he won’t be coming back again.



Merle Amodeo was born in Toronto and now lives in the Beaches area of the city. She remembers writing creatively as soon as she could form letters into words. She taught in elementary schools in Toronto and Oakville and at Durham College in Oshawa for more than thirty years. Her novel Call Waiting was published by Hidden Brook Press in 2009. In 2011, ten of her poems were published in Spanish and English in Taste of the Rainbow by Sand Crab Books. After Love her first book of poetry was published in 2014. You can visit her webpage at www.merleamodeo.com. Merle is a member of the League of Canadian Poets and is available to do readings from her book in the GTA. 


Watch for two more poems coming from Merle in our September 2016 issue of Blank Spaces!

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