* Canada: Case History

CANADA: CASE HISTORY

This is the case of a high-school land,
deadset in adolescence,
loud treble laughs and sudden fists,
bright cheeks, the gangling presence.

This boy is wonderful at sports
and physically quite healthy;
he’s taken to church on Sunday still
and keeps his prurience stealthy.

He doesn’t like books except about bears,
collects new coins and model planes,
and never refuses a dare.

His Uncle spoils him with candy, of course,
yet shouts him down when he talks at table.

You will note he’s got some of his French mother’s looks,
though he’s not so witty and no more stable.

He’s really much more like his father and yet
if you say so he’ll pull a great face.

He wants to be different from everyone else
and daydreams of winning the global race.

Parents unmarried and living abroad,
relatives keen to bag the estate,
schizophrenia not excluded,
will he learn to grow up before it’s too late?

EARLE BIRNEY

Praise the Lord