Once Upon a Not on Time

scheduled the meeting
inviting all three bears on
her management team

A breakfast conference
made all the better
with ordered food
from local Porridge House

Noticing the bears were
all in the waiting room
she continued into Zoom
strangely finding no bears

Each had logged on via
their own laptop – each
showing a different view of
cottage conference room B

In the foreground of each
sat the delivered porridge
biodegradable takeout
boxes unopened, seals on

waited until ten past
long enough for her concern
to overtake her anger

The bears had all logged on
nobody had taken time
to put their laptop on mute
Goldilocks listened

hearing nothing but the
staccato hum of the AC
and periodic buzzing of what
sounded like a firefly

Goldilocks sent out a
group text, inquiring to the
bears whereabouts, noting
another Zoom she had to do

A quick text response
‘be right there’ put her mind
somewhat at ease while
ratcheting up her curiosity

A minute, no more than two
and all three bears were
seated by their laptops, porridge
sitting snugly in front of them

“Morning, boss.” said a bear
“Morning,” added another bear
“Hey there.” chimed in the third bear
“Hello” said Goldilocks, curtly

The bears, looking sheepish
each started to fiddle with their
takeout porridge while also grabbing
the day’s reports to review

Goldilocks waited patiently as the
bears got themselves pulled together
“Let’s look at productivity review first”
All three bears shifted uncomfortably

“Papa bear!’ barked Goldilocks
What s been going on with you?
Your productivity is way down in
every single metric. Are you o.k?”

“Uhh, yeah. Just a rough month.
This whole pandemic thing.
I’ll pick up the pace. promise I will.”
“Okay, P.B. I’ll hold you to that.”

“Mama bear!” continued Goldilocks
as she noticed papa bear furiously
downing his porridge. “Mama, mia!
You are on fie-AH! Can you keep it up?”
“I do believe I can” replied Mama,
cautiously. “I certainly think I can.”
“Well, okay then! You go, girl!”
“So, Boo Boo. How ya doing?”

“Just fine, Ms. Goldilocks, ma’am.”
“Good. I’m looking at your report –
looks good. Nothing to complain
about, you’re doing well, as usual.”

“Thank you, Ms. Goldilocks, ma’am.”
“Thank you, Boo-Boo. Keep it up.
Now, we have one more item…”
“Excuse me. Ms. Goldilocks…?”

“Yes, Mama Bear?”
“Is this about the rally tomorrow?”
“Yes it is. You have some thoughts?”
“I think we should all be there!”

“Well, yes. It IS part of the job.”
“Pretty much the same as last week?”
“Yes, Mama Bear. exactly the same.”
“Then I think we can just wrap up.”

“Okay then. Any objections? No?
Then have a good day, everybody.
Get out there, and do your best.”
“Smash the patriarchy!” said Papa.

“Smash the patriarchy!” added Mama.
“Smash the patriarchy!” yelled Boo Boo.
“Umm, Ms. Goldilocks? At the rally, will
there be a picnic lunch provided?

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2020

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