Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Poetry Year: Entry #41

In which Your Humble Blogger puts aside her wariness of sequels long enough to write a follow-up to the last poem:

"The Canada of My Reality"

Not long after I wrote the other poem,
I received a phone call from a strange number.
My phone informed me of the call's origin.
Nova Scotia.
Nova Scotia!
Briny grey seashore of my dreams,
The one I've loved past the saltwater
Frozen in your beard!
Exactly where, as a kid, I wanted to live.
Oh! My younger self
Had read my poem and liked it, then.
Canada thought I was worth talking to!
So I began to listen to the voice mail
(I never answer my phone –
I'm American and I don't have to),
And I presumed from the voice's friendliness
As well as the caller ID info
That the voice was indeed a Canadian's.
Then the voice told me about
All of the irresponsible behavior
Of Political Candidate A,
Who was my incumbent state representative,
And what Candidate B would do differently.
But why were they calling from Nova Scotia?
Then I remembered the call a few days before
Made on behalf of Political Candidate A
From an area code in California.
Nice new trick, guys.

Weeks before this, I had read an article
About a phenomenon scientists are observing:
This year, the aurora borealis
Is dimmer than in other years recent.
It seems to be a cyclical occurrence.
If the scientists want an outside explanation
For what passes with the Northern Lights, though,
I hope they ask me.
I think I've got it figured out.
It's because we, down here,
And in an election year no less,
Are touching them.

* * *

Didn't 2010 seem to be a particularly nasty election year here in the U.S.? Such anger, such hostility, such... snippiness. I know that Canada recently had its own election drama. Still, I couldn't help feeling, as November approached, that we were really wallowing in the muck.

This poem is inspired by true stories. I really did get calls on my cell phone on behalf of local political candidates from Nova Scotia and California. Did anyone else get those last year? It was a smart trick -- an out-of-state area code did get me curious enough to listen to the automated message from each number. (It also irked me enough afterward to think twice about voting for certain candidates.) Additionally, the Northern Lights really were in the dim part of their cycle.

I should probably conclude this post with an admission: I've never actually been to Nova Scotia. I just have the same romantic image of it that I used to have of Maine. And I actually liked Maine once I finally got there two years ago. Perhaps, in time, Nova Scotia and I shall also meet face-to-face.... *swoon*

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