Canada is rich with its unknown famous poets.
You’d be surprised and sobered to know how many prize winners
Are no longer read or even recalled, not only by the young
But by their associates. And those back jacket endorsements
Proclaiming “one of our greatest” below a photograph
Glowing with Sears’ confidence is not holy writ nor even
Cereal box acclamation but a general epithet affixed
Randomly on the creativity assembly line.
Who visited Liz Gourlay at the end, or Eldon Grier; few did
Anne Marriott, her music reduced to rudimentary acknowledgments
And now Florence, whose poems I recall vaguely from when I was 18 &
Rampaged through the whole slew of Canpo available in the local library,
Avid for all, imagining glory, knowing now you can die ignominious
From a staph infection after going to the hospital with a broken hip.
Like anyone else, obviously, and even I didn’t drop in with flowers or to say
Once I read your poems, though I don’t recall which or why you were said
To be among our country’s finest crop of bards, blurbs rarely ending
Up (don’t forget this), as epitaphs.