A Poem for a Canada Day Unlike Any Other


A design for Canada Day 2021 commemorates the Indigenous children whose bodies have recently been found near residential schools. (Illustration by Samantha Brijbassi for

Canada Day 2021(5)

We are Canada Stuck,
Those of us whose tears are not enough,
Castaways moulting out of patriot’s fluff,
Itching in a red-and-white coat we forever have wrapped, cozy and snug

Reconciliation begins thus,
In the process of the processing of the horror,
‘What do I now do?’ echoes til we holler,
Or swallow Ozick’s shawl,
each of its threads the texture
Of one of those shattered little bones that has bothered us all

‘Who are we? Who am I?’
If we don’t reckon with the reckoning of what has,
What is,
What now,
Canada Stuck, in a country so big,
Feeling small is the way to hold on,
For before its rise, a tribe first must crawl

Adrian is the editor of and He also edited "Inspired Cooking", a nutrition-focused cookbook featuring 20 of Canada's leading chefs and in support of the cancer-fighting charity, InspireHealth. "Inspired Cooking" was created in honour of Adrian's late wife and co-founder, Julia Pelish, who passed away of brain cancer in 2016. Adrian has won numerous awards for his travel writing, travel photography, and fiction, and has visited more than 55 countries. He is a former editor at the Toronto Star and New York Newsday, and was the social media and advocacy manager for Destination Canada. His articles have frequently appeared in the Huffington Post, Globe & Mail, and other major publications. He has appeared on national and local broadcasts, talking about travel, sports, creative writing and journalism. In 2019, he launched Trippzy, a travel-trivia app developed to educate consumers about destinations around the world.

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