Calgary

I was born here. It is a simple place on the outside, enigmatic and strange underneath. I’m proud to have grown up in this city. I miss her still.

Bucking horse buckles meet with boots and three-piece suits,

Escalades and pick-up trucks the steed of choice –

these well-oiled good ole boys;

progressive-cosmo melds with oil-baron cowboys.

_____

Living here but not from here,

indigenous works only with Natives, deer, bugs and rivers running

that tuck themselves into rambling folds

of hills, foothills; apprentice mountains.

_____

They call it home but it remains a cash crucible,

laboratory for oil rigs, lusty roughnecks and lonely geologists.

Sucked from deep, sub-soil banks and changed

from raw and black to spent and smoke…smells like money.

Bust to boom and back again,

they put their trust in fuel’s gold fossils.

Then, from up to down they bounce and sway,

this fickle ground beneath their feet.

Build when rich and bitch when poor,

the story stays the same.

_____

Here, newer West trumps older East;

old passive-aggressions grumble on.

Yet, step up closer still and dance to an eclectic tune –

maybe Ukraine,

or Pakistan,

or Thailand.

This global congregation comes in praise of promise and better days.

In the West where whiteness wins and rich is best,

this place can boast all that and still

gloat through gritted teeth over their leader brown,

a Muslim, by God.

_____

Here, for all her thriving hypocrisy,

she still reeks of home.

I know her best and she knows me,

this urban sprawl McMansion sea –

this Calgary.

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