Mary Tyler Moore 1936-2017

Who can turn the world on with a smile?
A double entendre in that
We’re happy for sure with this girl without guile
But we really got off when she tossed that hat

70’s TV,  working women were shrill
lonely wanna be wives
But happy and single and using the pill?
With Mary Richards freedom arrives  

She wasn’t the Mary of Minneapolis
And neither was she Laura Petrie
Illusions carry us from what is sad for us:
Her life was complex and messy

Her parents distant drank till numb
She chose to live at her aunt’s
Her only son James lost to a gun
Not the stuff of comic romance

Divorce, diabetes, alcoholic
But with heart held on to herself
Life wasn’t easy but to art apostolic
Got her start as a dancing elf

Then capri-clad Laura, bubbly and cute
More than a match for Van Dyke
That she had an aura beyond dispute
We would catch her on Wednesday nights  

Minnesota brought wit and laughter
When most of TV was junk
Murray, Rhoda, Sue Ann and Baxter
And Mr. Grant said she had spunk

He hated spunk

A word overused no doubt is  “iconic”
But it surely fits her, such passion and pluck
It’s true she embodied anti-ironic
But Sweet Mary Richards casually fucked

It went by some viewers, but there was a wink
That on occasion she’d share her bed
I imagine her suitors, they share a drink
Make love and then they’d laugh about Ted

After sitcoms, there were the movies
Devastating chilly mother in grief
“Ordinary People” still moves me
If you doubt dysfunction, she’ll bring belief

Founded MTM with Grant Tinker
They married, divorced, stayed friends
Admitted she was too much of a drinker
And on the stage she started to mend

Won a Tony as a quadriplegic
A cancer survivor in “First You Cry”
Mary Tyler Moore would not be defeated
But there come a time to say goodbye

She shaped a new version of being a woman
Sweet, confident, funny and smart
The world was open to this girl from Brooklyn
But now the world is coming apart

How quick politics slip into here
This homage to an actress
But the rhythm we live in beats with fear
Fatuous, factless fascists

What if we elected an evil Ted Baxter
On a platform of fear and race
Mary would object to dreaded disaster
And somehow put him in place

But that was fiction and this is real
But Mary’s character inspires
We face an affliction how do we deal?
I know I am preaching to the choir

But we need new voices we need new songs
We need to reach out as never before
And we need to be joyous while righting this wrong
Or we’ll not survive this war

Mary Richards thrived in a world of men
But before she could take on that
She looked to the sky, twirled and then
She joyously flung up her hat

Why don’t we start with that?



Mary as elf

Mary Tyler Moore Chuckles the Clown Episode


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