Went downtown this Canada Day
to join the celebration.
A girl wrapped in red-and-white sold three flags
for two dollars, five for three.
She wanted my money.
A street performer had his open guitar case
in front of him.
He wanted my money.
A juggler approached the crowd,
holding his hat.
He, too, wanted my money.
By the pub, a sign invited me to all-I-can-eat-wings
for six dollars.
They only wanted my money.
At the lemonade stand,
four dollars could get me a small cup, mostly ice.
They really wanted my money.
Tired of the assault on my wallet,
I waived a taxi to go back home.
The driver nodded, reaching for the metre.
(Editor’s note: poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday)