On Arriving in Toronto

I forgot how much this city stank
Pungent, potent, raw and rank
Fume from tailpipe and car exhaust
Sick to my stomach, cookies tossed,
For too long I’ve breathed fresh air
And so my lungs could not prepare
For the all-out assault of sinus
Of nostril filled with smell of anus
Idled engine and congested traffic
Smog like fog, gross and graphic
Mirrored skyline, crisp and clean
Perfumed by the scent obscene
Air so thick it’s hard to breathe
Makes me want to wretch and writhe

T J Therien

(Spent last night on the bus travelling from Montreal to Toronto. I’ve been away so long I forgot what the air quality was like. Well I’m here now, I’m going to make the best of it. After spending 10 of the last 11 years caring for elderly relatives, deceased mother and uncle, I have done my best and my share, emotionally and physically I cannot do it anymore I am going to do what is right by me and put myself first for a change and pursue my writing. If that makes me selfish or a villain, so be it.)


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