Toronto: a Newcomer’s Ballad

animated Toronto street view

Hey Ma, my plane’s just landing now
And cellphones aren’t allowed
So, I figured I’d just write to you
In English—aren’t you proud?

This city’s bordered by a lake
“The true North strong and free”
The people? They don’t seem too nice
(But Ma, don’t be worried)

I hear them talking from my seat
They say the subway sucks
Apparently the crime rate’s low
But Ma, there’s so much drugs:

Their ex-mayor was high on crack
The whole place smells like weed
Their councillor Norm? He seems off, too
So does his friend, “Drizzy

And Ma, my rent, it costs so much
I don’t know what I’ll eat
I worry I won’t find a job—
I’ll end up on the street

But Ma, you helped me earn degrees
A Bachelor of Arts
A master’s in statistics too
I think that’s a great start

I worry ‘bout my English, Ma
My accent sounds so thick
The people might not hire me
And what if I get sick?

Apparently the healthcare’s free
If you’re a working man
Or married to someone born here
–Neither of which I am

But I hear they’re real accepting here,
They hosted Pride one time
And also when that raccoon died,
They made him a small shrine

I hear Canadians are nice,
They like to say “sorry”
I think that that’s also a song
(The artist escapes me)

Ok Ma, time to wrap this up
I’m getting off the plane
I promise that I’ll keep in touch
And write to you again


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