Twas the Night Before New Year’s

By George Stephenson
With a tip of the hat to Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863)
Illustration by Matt Kehler

Twas the night before New Year’s and all through the world
We look back at the year and all that’s unfurled.
History was written with victories and defeat,
And some things we’re hoping we’ll never repeat.

The year it began with an incredible thump,
With the inauguration of one Donald J. Trump.
The greatest event ever, everybody was told,
The first of a million lies set to unfold.

The Russians were happy, all snug in their beds,
While thoughts of their Twitter King danced in their heads.
They had come to his aid over so many weeks,
With an army of hackers and Wiki-Leaks.

It’s all fake news, the orange one cried,
As Mueller pressed on, to see who had lied.
The Donald was angry, as all could see,
He said lock up Hillary, don’t look at me.

The president’s past, with its absence of class,
Helped a movement against those who harass.
A dam holding back allegations did break,
Men in movies, politics and music did quake.

Now, Weinstein! Now, Spacey, Now Ratner and C.K,
On, Tobak! On Moore! The list grew by each day.
They had groped and harassed to the top of the wall,
And like Humpty Dumpty, they had a great fall.

In Manitoba, we weren’t feeling left out,
One politician’s history became a great shout.
A new NDP leader with a past he can’t vault,
An allegation unknown of domestic assault.

That he denied, but it became clear,
That other past comments were nothing to cheer.
His hip-hop lyrics called women gross names,
But it’s all OK now, because he’s totally changed.

Across the aisle, the Conservatives laughed,
As they plotted to give their own workers the shaft.
It’s a laugh freezing wages and cutting the herd,
And meeting with unions without hearing a word.

Cuts are needed, they say, ‘cause we’re all going broke
Backing up their wild claims with mirrors and smoke.
Transit, health care and French ed. gets the axe
All because they promised to cut a sales tax.

Conservatives in Britain, too, were quite flat
They called an election and almost lost that.
Their infighting, it’s said, is getting quite rough.
The exit part of Brexit is surprisingly tough.

Overall, world politics left us perplexed,
Always facing the fear of what would come next.
Still, the world survived the actions of kooks,
Even North Korea and Trump rattling their nukes.

But that year is past, father time drifts away.
We have to move on without any delay.
And we hear him exclaim, ere he drives out of sight,
Happy New Year to All, Next Time Get It Right!

— Originally published in the December 2017 issue of The Manitoba Teacher