Mary Moriarity Surfs The Morning Media


Mary Moriarity surfs the morning media

searching for encouragement to help her face the day.


A gloomy head at NBC confirms her deepest fears

with shots that show the rotten side of everything she hears.

A somber head at PBS complains that the market’s down.

There’s a camera close-up on ABC of the face of a girl who drowned.

Concern is the tone of the brassy blonde who lectures on CBS

about women’s plight as they live their lives, perpetually under duress.

America’s really in horrible shape, according to CNN,

and the rest of the world’s in a grocery cart, on the road to Hell again.


Pumped up with all the current facts, Mary takes a seat.

She’s ready for her breakfast, and wonders what to eat.

There’s alar in her applesauce, monoxide in the air,

cholesterol in her crepes-suzette, carcinogens in her hair.

Her neighbor’s out with an aerosol can, spraying the pits of his arms,

while the ozone hole above the garage keeps growing by leaps and bounds.

Her friend Bernice just called her up with a terrible case of the blues.

The religious right is in front of her house, denying her right to choose.

The homophobes are out in force, along with the radical right,

but they’ll all be fried when the greenhouse-effect sets the planet alight.

At the back of the yard there’s a homeless man, abandoned by Providence.

He’s drinking a bottle of muscatel wine while he urinates through the fence.


Mary looks around at her terrible town and thinks of the trials ahead,

and finally gives up and turns off the tube and waddles on back to bed.


© Russ Lewis September 21, 1994