Canadian Dainty

Going or gone the way of the Mid-Atlantic,
its better-moneyed kissing cousin.

Britisher than British, smothered
in mother country enunciation, it is

the noise a voice makes crossing the air
with word of war in Europe, troubles

in other colonies, one that knows
it knows better than best for you.

Last I heard it live was a book sale
in Halifax, the Bush years, fundraiser

at the old Forum. The lady who rang me through
saw the Marcus Aurelius I’d got for a loonie

and told me how our world and times
could use a ruler like him again. Her tone

was as if she’d lived under his reign,
had seen him at a distance in childhood

as his horse-powered motorcade passed down
the Appian Way, him waving just for her.

Joel Robert Ferguson

Joel Robert Ferguson is a poet of working-class settler origins. Raised in the Nova Scotian village of Bible Hill, he now lives in Winnipeg, Treaty One Territory, where he is a PhD student at the University of Manitoba. His poetry has recently appeared in The Columbia Review, EVENT, The Quarantine Review, Queen's Quarterly, and Riddle Fence, and his debut collection, "The Lost Cafeteria" (Signature Editions, 2020), was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award.