It is early Spring in Toronto
and the smell of melting earth
is electric and alive.

City pulses quick
anticipating refoliation
I drive like a maniac
in a white rusted company car

knight charger in pursuit of the
twenty four hour day and the dangers
of falling asleep drunk with whimsy
within the pregnant park, mad dream

to drift beneath the soil, world
of shadow, or wherever winter goes
in the summer — and suddenly

there on the rail siding, sliding
beside me—One More Cruel Joke—
rusted brown CP, CN flatbeds and
rockers—the spine of the country

all conflict, broken promises and compromise
there they are—filled with snow
layers and layers like loaves
fresh from the oven, lessons in history

geography, politics and a crystalline
Mesopotamic moment—cars and cars
and cars filled with snow— we’re bound
to be defeated— they’re shipping snow South!

The bastards! They hate Toronto so much
they’ll bury us in snow the moment we think
we got out—I know these cars spent the night
in Sudbury, Sault Ste Marie or Temagami

makes no difference to me.

Now I know it can’t be defeated
brought down, bought or sold,
won’t lie down, go away, never admit
its teeth are less sharp
though we battle in Pago Pago
or Waikiki Bay.

I roll on my back like a husky
attacked by its teammates,
too weak to fight back,
too weak to surrender,
bare my throat to you
Storm, Wind of Ice, Frozen
Lethal Water who ignores me.
I bless thee Father Winter
for these Thy lessons.

<this poem ends my 11th book>