The Lady and the Snake

Perhaps the first poem about a 16-lane highway ever to make it onto a blog site:

The Lady and The Snake

My Lady begged unto The Mayor:
“I am choking, Doctor Miller,
your 401’s grown into some
black asphalt Anaconda;
this highway beast is swallowing me,
my arteries sluggish and hardening; please, won’t you
prescribe your laws, and let me breathe?”

The Mayor said unto The Lady:
“You’re seething with this reptile’s virus, it’s
called ‘MercedesHondaBuicks’; luckily
there are vaccines up my sleeve
--a dose of TTC will do it--
but if I can’t kill this bloated snake
to Doctor Ottawa we’ll plead.”

But The Driver cursed unto The Mayor
“You’re nothing but a quack;
you’re better off to feed the snake, and
hitch your wagon to its back;
I may someday ride the Rocket Red unto
the rescue, to bring your Lady back, but until
that fancy day should come, you’ll cut the motorist some slack!”

Hark I hear my Lady wheeze; I finally make my choice:
“Liar Liar, Mr. Driver, your tailpipe's on fire,
and the devil’s in this concrete serpent’s spiralling coil,
strangling, spitting smog and oil, until she’s hoarse;
Milady’s ill, I know her well,
I spent a life walking astride her;
though pale now, she’s inside me still; I’ll lend to her my voice.”

So I march to the edge of the Avenue path, where
there, I stare at it, squeezing slowly ’neath the overpass;
high atop its shimmering, scaly mass, I holler at The Snake:
“Hie thee hither, Mr. Python; you can consider me St. Pat;
do your best to heed me, and dare not my Lady take;
go swallow someone else’s town, or
slither back into The Lake!”

But with noxious carbon venom, its hissed monoxide breath
The Snake has kissed My Lady City
with the crude exhaust of death, whispering unto her:
“I grow fat on your vitality,
I expand with all my gluttony
You’re addicted to my enormity;
and I’ll feast upon your breast.”

And so we dare not exterminate
The Snake, or drive it underground
for it’s wormed its way into Her fibre,
wasting, rusting till she’s brown
From suburbs to the Gardiner, the Snake poisons our plans
And the Don will no more teem with fish
Because the Valley’s paved with fangs.

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