Here's to the home and native land of nations first and second and third, denizens normally restrained and reserved (until it comes to grown men in hot pursuit of a rubber disk on frozen water); to die-hard patriots of curling and lacrosse, drivers of dogsleds and snowmobiles, tuques with and sans pompoms, national parks, boreal forests, rocky peaks, alpine glaciers, arctic tundra, icefields and bergs, bays, harbours, and falls, canals with gated locks, and doughy beaver tails with cinnamon or salted caramel. All hail the bacon, beer, and dry ginger ale, the bite-sized donut morsels by the box, syrupy sap tapped from leafy maples, grassy prairies, thousand islets, bluffs and cliffs, lakes great and pretty darn good, railroads, ferries, transcontinental highway, western capes and eastern coves (or vice versa), fulgent auroras adorning northern firmaments, dino bones, domed igloos, birchbark canoes, the loonie and twoonie, the moose and the goose, curious polar bears, garbage-loving grizzlies, the chattering of the starling, the twitter of the nightingale. Cheers to monarchists (and their anti-monarchist pals); to the rightful charter and sober second thoughts; to forces standing on guard, legions of veterans, and the fallen whose torch we hold aloft; to wheat farmers, beef ranchers, fishers of salmon and trout; to neighbours excavating cars from unplowed streets and casually shoveling each other's driveways; to the human warmth overriding politeness, the unassuming character, subtle yet substantial; to the communal mosaic, a tapestry of threads diversely woven with respect utmost, not from sea to sea, but from coast, to coast, to coast.
Brandon Marlon is a writer from Ottawa, Canada. He received his B.A. in Drama & English from the University of Toronto and his M.A. in English from the University of Victoria. His poetry was awarded the Harry Hoyt Lacey Prize in Poetry (Fall 2015), and his writing has been published in 200+ publications in 27 countries. www.brandonmarlon.com.