Dear Gord Downie (Part 2/Poem) / by Aaron Adair

Gord. (By the way, has anyone asked if we can call you that?)

Your impact is staggering.
Your words have moved mountains.
Or at least
They’ve created them.

You craft stories that make my mind
Consider the lives of Canadians different from myself.
You made a younger me research Tom Thompson (and Falstaff, and Cordelia).
You put Bobcaygeon on my map.

We’ve sung your songs
Around campfires in Northern Saskatchewan.
We got most of the words right
Just mumbled the rest.

But the lyrical hooks on the water’s edge
Always drew us together.

Some of us even imitated you
On stage
Improvising through the spaces
Crafting new one-shot hits over Rock n Roll standards.

I want you to be here
Making music
For my years to come.

I’ve always pictured you
Years down the road
Popping up here and there on TV
Commenting on Canadian identity.

As you age
You’d become
Your own perfect blend
Of Cohen and Cherry.

Yeah. That’s right.

A romantic poet’s pen
Carving out ballads of the beauty of rink life.
A pensioner with an incurable passionate patriotism
And a no excuses Don’tGiveAF*** attitude.

I’d catch glimpses of you
Watching the Bruins and the Leafs
At the ACC.

As you live,
As you fight
Like so many characters you’ve donned on stage,
I’ll celebrate your words
And music
And envision you carrying on
With Courage
Grace, Too.

Thank you.