Canada Day. A poem.

It’s “Canada Day.”

I am happy to be here:
born in a country with good medicine (which means I am alive in spite of a medical mistake),
overwhelming natural beauty,
the entire Rainbow of human societies and colours and ways of life.
I am grateful.

But I am not a patriot, and I doubt I am happy.

Maybe it’s because I am not a nationalist:
I do not believe that the State has the right to claim my primary allegiance,
to tell me where to go and who to be and how to think,
even if I pay my money into all the systems that the State run.

I am aware that there is a myth of Canadian Identity being woven and unravelled and re-
woven
that forgets things:
forgets colonization,
forgets residential schools,
forgets access to drinking water for Northern communities,
forgets the working homeless and
those who live with mental illness on the streets;

forgets trans people,
forgets the unborn,
forgets our elders who sit in group homes barely worth the name.

And the irony is,
even with all of this forgetting,
most of us remember, today:

We are blessed and highly favoured.
And the irony is, we are right.

I am happy to be here,
and I need help to remember,
and to resist forgetting,
and to be grateful

on this “Canada Day.”

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