The Times-Herald that day had good news

      by Susan Oakes

The Times-Herald that day had good news
(sandwiched between bright persuasive ads
for year-end sales, and the personal views
of the conservative editor, who was mad
about the tax increase but very pleased
by the improving state of the economy):
Housing starts last month increased.
Hotels, motels filled to capacity;
Some businessmen, tourists turned away.
Two small-time investors scanned the Times over coffee,
smiling, reading aloud. “No recession today!”
one remarked, “at least not that I can see—”
“But you never know what to expect in this town!”
Royalty expected to arrive tomorrow; Secret
summit peace talks planned?
City crime rate down.
Astronomers announce discovery of a new comet;
Locally visible to the east in the late-night sky.
Shepherds arrested for disorderly conduct . . .
“What kind
of news article is that? They were probably drunk, or high!”
“They claim they saw angels . . .” “They’re out of their minds!”

First published in Gadfly, Walla Walla College, 1982