That Country

Overwhelming size, yet underwhelming population
Though the latter refers not to character, but quantity.
A rich history with multiple starting points,
Thousands or hundreds of cycles, depending on origin.

A land of extremes, surprising to some
The well-known mountains and untainted snow
The iconic Inukshuk, pointing the way
Past dying glaciers, shrinking, receding.

Scrubland deserts, burning the sky
And emerald forests, extending away
With a single straight, unending road,
Running through the trackless prairies.

That vast, wide waterfall, the country crosser
Providing both sides with beauty and power
Makes famous and made famous by the brave or insane
Remembered for a barrel-drop success or

Large lakes and winding rivers, fresh for all
Belts of volcanoes, many old and some new
A long undefended border, yet Shield bearing always
All accompanied by a rich myriad of wildlife.

The once-known Cold North Dominion
Transformed through accent, stereotype and jest
Into what we view and identify today
C…eh? N…eh? D…eh? …Canada.
Alec Morrison, Sun Peaks, B.C.

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