"And So We Have Arrived"
by Louis Dudek
From: Europe. The Porcupine's Quill Press, 1991
And so we have arrived.
It narrows into the thin St. Lawrence.
Yet a river with a city inside it,
with a thousand islands,
as Cartier found it,
as Cabot discovered (I saw his face
in the Ducal Palace in Venice).
We have our physical heroes,
and are also a nation
built in the middle of water.
Somehow a bigger place than we left it:
a country with certain resources,
and a mind of its own, if lacking hunger.
The mountains of Gaspé doze, reclining,
in the air vacant as morning.
At home, there will be faces full of this light,
blank maybe, but beautiful.
Getting started is never easy.
We have work to do.
Europe is behind us.
America before us