by Andrew McDiarmid

Once again, he reminds me
that we are all children
in the same family.
It’s the sentiment of Lord Stanley too,
standing nearby with open arms
to people of all colors, creeds, and customs.
These statues set the tone
for the steady stream of visitors
who enter by horse and horsepower,
bicycle and foot. It’s the reason
the mother watching her children play
will look over at you and smile,
why the vendor will take extra care
packing your ice cream, why 
the beluga whale will seem to slow
as it swims by in the tank, giving you time
to take in its prominent forehead
and dark, piercing eyes.
It may also be why you pick up
the stray wrapper on the forest path
and why you offer to take a picture
for the newlyweds at Hallelujah Point.
And it’s quite possible, however unlikely,
that the squirrel sitting on the rock
while you eat your lunch 
will give you a nod, 
remembering a poem he read once 
about a helpless field mouse
and the kind young man
who noticed it and saved it
from the blade of his plough.

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