Adam Cooke

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and Santa was sighing

As true Christmas spirit appeared to be dying

At this time of year, kindness should have been stronger

Instead, Saint Nick’s “Bad List” grew longer and longer

With 12 months of naughtiness weighing him down

Santa’s cherubic smile had become a sad frown

He took out his map and looked south from the Pole

Sensing many Canucks would receive lumps of coal

Down on Parliament Hill, little Billy Morneau

Seemed to spend his time covering his tracks in the snow

With his assets unfrozen, his interests protected

And his “Tax Fairness Plans” coming off misdirected

Mr. Claus also shuddered at Harjit Sajjan’s

Bold-faced lies about his roles in military plans

But the Naughty List covers all political stripes

Like the Leitches and O’Learys of far-right-wing gripes

And the folks lousing up the Phoenix payroll system

All those checks should be here, but somehow, they all missed ‘em

From the West to the East, from the left to the right,

Santa found boys and girls showing venom and spite

Calling cabinet ministers names like “Climate Barbie”

Spending way too much dough on Canada’s birthday party

Spreading racism, sexism, hatred and gore

Hailing statues of murderers, blaming refugees and more

In the Maritimes, Santa saw premiers refuse

To back bargaining rights for those paying union dues

And then, with the ballot boxes present last May,

Nearly half of Nova Scotians stayed home on that day

On the shores of the mighty Northumberland Strait

Saint Nick spotted a pulp mill that just couldn’t wait

To spend millions on ads to improve their bad image

While shutting down protests at their own line of scrimmage

And speaking of football, no gifts for St. Mary’s

Whose Huskies weren’t nimble as sugarplum fairies

Blowing leads to Acadia, and losing the title

With ineligible players branded as vital

As he looks further south, Santa shudders and winces

At the long list of big names once treated like princes

Former giants of pop culture, politics and glamour

Now given pink slips as we bring down the hammer:

Go, Weinstein! Go, Spacey! Go, Lauer and Keilor!

Go, C.K.! Go, O’Reilly! Go, Franken and Tambor!

From the top of the heap to the bottom of the pile –

Now, put away all your cheap moves and fake smiles!

Casting a sad eye towards Washington, D.C.,

Santa wondered where “good boys and girls” might just be

With lawmakers squabbling over health care and taxes

Unable to cooperate, just grinding their axes

Led by the unstable Commander-In-Chief

Giving world leaders fits, causing Americans grief

Tossing paper-towel rolls to the hurricane-ravaged

Using his “social” media to spread words so savage

Turning blind eyes to Nazis in big public riots

Backing sleazebags for Senate – “Roy Moore, come on, try it!”

Santa just couldn’t see himself coming and knocking

On the Oval Office door to fill up Donald’s stocking

Or filling the socks of the rogue GOPs

That guided the Trump ship through such stormy seas:

On Bannon! On Pence! On Spicer! On Rex!

On Huckabee-Sanders! (Your pie had no effects!)

On Sessions! On McConnell! On Ryan! On “Mooch”!

They all gave the mighty Trump keister a smooch

While the Angriest Orange fanned the flames overseas

Santa, searching for answers, could hardly be pleased

With the tweets and the rallies and the UN address

Taunting “Little Rocket Man,” Theresa May, and the rest

Is a nuclear holocaust on the horizon?

Is Brexit a failure? (Would that be surprisin’?)

Can we find some redemption in this day and age,

Where huge corporate mergers become all the rage,

As Disney gets 21st-Century Fox?

That $52 billion could buy lots of socks

Or get clean drinking water for aboriginal lands

Or feed starving children on African sands

Santa surveyed the year, so bogged down with despair

With misogyny, hatred, and grief everywhere

Gun violence at concerts and houses of prayer

Destruction carried out by the sowers of terror

Saint Nick’s jolly face now looked very morose

And as Christmas drew near, he came terribly close

To shuttering the workshop and laying off elves

And putting the toys back up on the shelves

Leaving the reindeer tied up in their stables

Or watching The Orville on digital cable

But spotted an image that gave him some hope

That the world was now changing and learning to cope

A magazine cover depicting brave souls

Who had long ago tired of their lumps of coal

And now sought out change, and protection for all

Who would seek gender equity and answer the call

Emboldened by courage that once had gone dry,

Santa hitched up his sleigh for his trip through the sky

And I heard him exclaim, in a voice loud and bright:

“Thank you, all ‘Silence Breakers’ – let’s take back the night!”