Wednesday, April 2, 2014


A poem I wrote about Lethbridge based on the opening soliloquy from Richard III. It won an honourable mention at the 2014 Dr. William Henry Drummond Poetry Contest.

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious spring by the flattened, sodden grass;
And all stiff grit lour’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the Old Man buried.
Now are our brows bound by snapback John Deere caps;
Our itchy, irritated skin lotioned with Vaseline Intensive Care;
Our walkways shoveled bare,
Our dreadful spinning tires altered to traction on asphalt.
Absurdly beaming missionaries hath smooth’d his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting snow blower
To fright the souls of neighborhood cats,
He capers nimbly in Tim Hortons
To the delectable scent of almost burnt coffee.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive trucks,
Nor made to castrate amorous cattle;
I, that am rude and stamp my ‪chukka boots upon the floor
And strut before independent coffeehouse;
I, that am curtail’d of broad feedlot cowboy shoulders,
Cheated of muscled ass that properly fits Wranglers,
Delicate, finish’d, dainty and sent
Into this honky-tonk world, properly made up,
And so perfectly fashionable
That coyotes yip at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this manly city of truck nuts,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the glazed coffee shop window
And descant on my own trimmed-bread-hipster handsomeness:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a calloused worker,
To entertain these Conservatives,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the lack of idle pleasures to be found these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,
To set the Evangelical and the Mormons
In deadly hate one against the other:
And if manly-men be as coarse and lumbering
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
This day should the righteous be exposed,
And their sheepish self-serving piousness revealed.
Dive, thoughts: here come the missionaries.

© 2014, Leila Armstrong

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