Not many cities are heroes (like this one)
sitting gently (like an unassuming rose)
nestled by the river
hiding from the quiver of Detroit
(that monument to failed
but succeeding cities).
I don’t think Windsor even knows
that it’s a hero
a border town provocateur.
Nor does almost anyone else.
The first road rides
away from Washington’s armchair
through to Windsor.
cut and run
from their captivity
in the “land of the free and brave”
people created equally
landing as exiles in Canada.
The second road flowed
from a Whiskey city (so to speak)
filling America’s cups (as supply and demand ensured)
America’s children got their drinks
as they chanted “We have a statue, you have liberty.”
The third road squirmed away from Uncle Sam’s
to fight a war for liberty (so it goes)
and once again it is time to cut and run.
A city, a bright beacon of liberty
a hero in changing, shifting times.
Slaves and dodgers went north
and the whiskey flowed south. (Go figure)
Now a few lonely bottles of whiskey
lay fallow at the bottom of the river
apparently they didn’t survive the journey to America.
Or they survived but didn’t thrive (nobody enjoyed them)
they are seeds, but they outlived their lifespan (bearing freedom’s fruits).
I imagine that the bottles remember things we so easily forget
stories of different times and the heroic city
oft called upon and more often forgot.
Mark Nenadov is a writer from Essex, Ontario, Canada. He lives with his lovely wife and their three children under four years old. Mark’s poems have appeared in publications in Canada, the United States, Pakistan, India, Australia, England, and Ireland.