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A poetic ode to the year just past

There was much in 2012 about which to rhyme

(MCT) — Another year over
It vanished so fast
The year twenty twelve
Now belongs to the past.

The war for the White House
Invaded the year
The candidates played
To our hopes and our fear.

While Mitt split the world
Into moochers and makers
And said, “Forty-seven
percent are just takers.”

Obama said, “Romney?
The dude’s a fat cat!
And don’t get me wrong
But you didn’t build that.”

At last, in November,
The campaigning done,
The votes were all counted
Obama had won.

Yet war carried on
And it got ever plainer:
Obama must now
Duke it out with John Boehner!

A storm we called Sandy
Dumped torrents of rain
And madmen with guns
Left a torrent of pain.

A temple, a theater
A cafe, a mall
A spa and a school —
So much grief in them all.

And here in Chicago
The bullets still fly
The murder count rises
We fight about why.

It’s true that we dazzled
The world during NATO
There’s reason to think
That our city is greato.

But schools were in trouble
The teachers were blue
The parents and students
Cried, “What can we do?”

King Rahm and Queen Karen
Went mano a mano
And Jean-Claude Brizard
He got caught in the guano.

King Rahm bellowed, “Charters!”
Queen Karen called, “Strike!”
(But, hey, we sure got
Some nice lanes for my bike.)

Then young Jesse Jr.
So sick and so pale
Grew worried he might
Follow Blago to jail.

From North Side to South Side
To West we did grouse
That parking downtown
Costs as much as a house.

The year brought some progress
For folks who are gay
Unless you are talking
About Chick-fil-A.

The kids all said, “YOLO,”
The old folks said, “What?”
The kids all said, “Gangnam,”
Rush Limbaugh said, “Slut.”

We lost Whitney’s voice
Man, could she belt a tune
We said, “Goodbye, Neil,
The first man on the moon.”

Goodbye to the Twinkie
Goodbye to bad Lance —
No longer a hero
With medals from France.

But here’s a good reason
To stand up and cheer:
The Mayans were wrong —
We survived the whole year.

We lived through the drought
(Though we’d never survive
Without “Shades of Grey”
And the new iPhone 5.)

The fiscal clock’s ticking?
The cliff is on fire?
The world will explode
If the tax cuts expire?

Relax, ‘cause it’s simple
The right thing to do:
Let’s leave the decision
To Honey Boo Boo.

Mary Schmich is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. She can be contacted at

©2012 the Chicago Tribune

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