By Anne Sullivan
“No! No! Not again,” Sylvia squawked. “That makes six of those disgusting commercials in twenty minutes.”
“I’ll turn it off,” I said, picking up the remote.
“That’s not enough. I’m going to fight. The pen is mightier than the sword. I’m standing up for the public,” she said, plopping herself down on the floor. “Give me some paper.”
“What happened to ‘please’?” I asked.
“Alright, please, Miss Picky.”
“Good manners are the basis of civilized behavior and should never be neglected.”
“So how come those political candidates and their media cohorts are allowed to have bad manners and I’m not?” Sylvia argued.
“They’re not allowed. They just take liberties.”
“There’s all too much liberty taken these days.”
I could see with dismay that Sylvia was descending into one of her sulks.
However, she recovered quickly, saying, “But I’ll fix ‘em as soon as you give me pen and paper.”
With the swiftness of Mercury, I handed her both pen and paper. She seized upon them and with pen clutched in paw, began writing immediately.
Save for the sound of the wind in the ponderosa trees, quiet prevailed for half an hour since the TV was off and Sylvia was occupied with her mightier pen.
In exactly 34 minutes, Sylvia threw the pen in the air and shouted, “Done! I’ve finished. Do you want to see what I’ve written?”
And this is what she wrote:
Media, please take note,
You won’t get my vote
With a scurrilous election ad.
Although these days it’s all the fad.
Election ads are more than awful;
They should be declared unlawful.
There they go again, those sanctimonious voices,
As though we couldn’t make our own choices.
Every night and day there are more
Even though it’s a huge bore.
I’m so angry I could burst
That I have to vote for the least worst.
Whatever happened to speak no evil?
When no candidate acted like a weevil?
When there was dignity and care
Or at least some words I could bear.
I may be old,
But may I be so bold
To ask each one of you to desist
From the insults, lies and gall.
Otherwise I’m going to resist
Casting my precious vote at all.
“That’s very good, Sylvia,” I said when I finished reading it.
“It is, isn’t it? I think it’s the best poem I’ve written to date. It’ll go in my anthology. I can see it now: ‘Poems by Sylvia’ or maybe ‘Meaningful Poems By Sylvia.’ Which do you think?”