In Commemoration of Canada Day

In dark times when the state
withdraws from the people,
empurpling its turpitude,
silence its weightiest dictate,
we either join the revolution,
though doubtful and irresolute,

or like cattle at the abattoir
find ways to view torment
impassively as a fact of nature,
commending efforts to lessen
suffering while surveilling
the masses from an iron balcony.

From my bike I see squalor
as a blur, so I junk my bike
and set out on foot, nodding
to the market women, hoping
to find rooms with hot water
in a village circled on the map.

To a beggar I give my baedeker
and with him I sit on a bench
tossing corn to plump pigeons
whose noisy cooing annoys
the undercover cops wiping
shit from their polished shoes.

Behind the church a dark alley
takes us to the meeting place,
rehearsing our pseudonyms
in the event of interrogation,
and the comrades greet us
with whispers and a warm hug.

Douglas Smith, formerly a teacher of Anthropology at York University, is a homeopathic physician.and author of several books on alternative medicine. It is claimed (although Dissident Voice has no proof of this!) that Doug and his partner grow the best garlic in Haliburton County. Read other articles by Douglas.