The Going Away Party

Roger Davies
June, 2006

Dear Ms. Ambrose, Polar Bear
Mothers, Fathers, and Young Ones:
I'd like to invite you all
to a going away party for the bears.

I know it sounds a bit unusual,
but it does seem we should,
at the least, mark the occasion.

The bears, after all,
have been with us a long time,
even entering our art,
our stories, and, of late,
our tourism industry.

It's been a long trek
from here to Oblivion.
Won't you agree,
something might be said?

You, Ms. Ambrose,
are the guest of honour,
as Minister responsible for climate
change, the ice melting from
under their paws, the empty belly,
the head so heavy to lift.

You have said
that you will do
what's best
for Canadians.
We know you mean mostly
the owners of The Oil Patch,
and the bears
never elected an M.P.,
watched the Oilers
in their bid for the Cup,
or even sent a delegate
to sit at the Land Claims Table.

Though we know their
claim is their lives.

Now that they are going away
from what recently and tentatively
we call "Canada"
we might consider
a commemorative plaque
a stamp
or maybe Polar Bear Day-

a day in the hot summers
of the future
when the trapped rays of the sun,
during the interminable time
after the final solution,
shine on the last of the empty ice.