YYC POP: Poetic Portraits of Poetry, a Sheri-D Wilson Laureate Project


– Margo Clendening

His debut in ’32 was at the long gone General
His folks ran boarding houses; the lifestyle was not fanciful

From Chinatown he’d walk with Grandma three blocks to The Bay
To score the bargains from the basement floor, most everyday

The Herald route he had on 6th Ave West of Center Street
He could tell you every name of families on his beat

We talk of John Kanerva – who built Dinny at the Zoo.
And Eric Louama – first ski jump guy at Paskapoo

All the Finns at Grandpa’s farm when Sylvan Lake grew dark
To share in a group Sauna (Sauna’s now in Heritage Park)

But nothing rhymes with Alzheimer’s, at least no words I know
As for living in the past? That’s where I guess we go

The places where he lived and learned are mostly parking lots
Like James Short and McDougall Schools and things we’ve long forgot

No one else remembers Ogden, Midnapore, Bowness,
or Forest Lawn or Inglewood: not Calgary then, I guess

Calgarians are kind to him because
they do not mind
His questions and his shuffling walk
His need to have a friendly talk

We take him out 6 days a week and try to seek the places
Where if he can’t quite find the names, he surely knows the faces

And he loves to tour the city and he finds it neat to see
Almost 2 whole million from just under 83
Thousand people think that Calgary’s the place to be

We call him by his first name when we fetch him from the home
Because all of those guy’s names are Dad
And they’re aware how very sad
It is to be alone

When he cannot remember me, It’s all OK, for I will he
Through his eyes is how I see his City, my Pop’s YYC

Margo Clendening

Submission to YYC POP is Daddio
Margo was born in 1967 and raised in Calgary
She spends most days with her Daddio
Her favourite colour is Purple

YYC POP - Placeholder for No Author Picture