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11 Nov

On This Day


I wrote this poem for Remembrance Day (Canada’s Veteran’s Day) when I was in third grade. I was very proud of it: I was asked to read it at that year’s Remembrance Day assembly in my elementary school, and I was the youngest of the students up on stage. I can’t remember much about the reading, only that my heart was pounding and that when everyone bowed their heads for the moment of silence I peeked out from under my bangs and watched to see who in the gymnasium full of kids was picking their nose or poking their neighbor and from my vantage point on the stage felt giddy with the sort of puffed-up childish superiority that only small children on gymnasium stages and politicians can muster. Which is not the point of Remembrance Day, but still. It was a silly poem, I thought once I’d grown and moved on to the angst-ridden tumult of free verse, a silly poem full of all the earnestness and dryness and commitment to basic rhyme schemes that is characteristic of small children with literary ambitions.