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III The Great Lakes Suite

James Reaney


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V  Lake Erie

Lake Erie is weary
Of washing the dreary
Crowds of the cities
That line her shores.
Oh, you know
The dirty people of Buffalo
And those in Cleveland
That must leave land
To see what the water’s like.
And those that by bike,
Motorcar, bus and screeching train
Come from London in the rain
To Port Stanley where they spend
The day in deciding whether Grand Bend
Might not have been a nicer place to go.

Up and down in thousands
They walk upon Lake Erie’s sands.
Those in Cleveland say, “Plainly,”
As they gaze across the waters
Where swim their soms and daughters,
“That distant speck must be Port Stanley.”
Those in Port Stanley yawn, “Oh,
That lump in the mist
Over there really must
Be populous Cleveland in Ohio.”
But Lake Erie says, “I know
That people say I’m shallow
But you just watch me when I go
With a thump
And a plump
At the Falls of Niagara into Lake Ontario.
When you see that you’ll admit
That I am not just a shallow nitwit
But a lake
That takes the cake
For the grand gigantic thunderous tragic exit.”