Ridiculous Expectations: a poem about the budget cuts to Saskatchewan Libraries

The Israelites of old were told
“go gather your own straw
but bake the same amount of bricks
that is the Pharaoh’s law.”

The people asked, “how can this be
to do with less, the same?”
but Pharaoh’s guards just shook their whips
“your laziness is to blame!”

And now, today, the libraries
are told the same old schtick:
“your budget has been cut in half
but do some fancy trick:

to give your patrons just the same
in service as before
and do it as efficiently
as when you had much more


I live in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Recently, our provincial government handed out the new budget, in which libraries received a 58 percent slash to their operating budget.  Our province had one of the best library systems in the entire country, but no more.  The government seems to think that the library system should keep on doing the same things as before, but without giving them the funds to do it.  Unfortunately, it seems that our provincial government thinks that to move this province forward, it needs to destroy the very foundations of education and literacy to do it (schools also received funding cuts – although not quite as extreme).

I would propose that, even in tough economic times, education and literacy programs should be the last things to be cut, as the education of our youth is imperative to seeing these people grow up to be leaders who have learned the skills that they need to lead!


this is poem number 5 for National Poetry Writing Month