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Thursday, November 06, 2008


After the 2008 Presidential Election

by Terry Hertzler

I’m not, I’m happy to say, moving
to Canada, won’t have to learn
to say “eh” rather than “huh” when
I miss a question, or substitute
“chesterfield” for “couch,” request

a “serviette” rather than a “napkin,”
or start inserting the letter “u” into
various words: colour, neighbour,
honour—won’t have to try to recall
those infiltration techniques I learned

many years ago in the Army if Canada
decides it has no room for an overfed,
middle-aged, third-tier poet, won’t
have to sneak through midnight woods
into beautiful British Columbia, face

streaked with camouflage paint, which
would probably cause me to break out
in a rash, although at least in Canada
I’d have access to free medical care
as I waited deportation as an undesirable.

So, I’ll stay put for now, happy that I won’t
have to start typing all my poems in both
English and French or learn the distinction
between “providence” and “province,”
whatever that is.

Terry Hertzler has worked as a writer, editor and teacher for 30 years. His poetry and short stories have appeared in a variety of publications, including The Writer, North American Review, Margie, Nimrod and Stand Up Poetry: An Expanded Anthology, as well as being produced on stage and for radio and television. His work has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He is the owner and publisher of Caernarvon Press and coordinates the monthly Second Sunday at Open Door Books poetry series in Pacific Beach, CA. His latest book of poetry is Second Skin.