From Beyond Even Faithful Legends: Selected Poems 1962—1976, published by Talonbooks in 1980.
on th train, back from th Empress dining car, snowing woodlands ,pulling thru Manitoba, recall how sum yrs after th second centenary of th founding of Halifax, which date i commemorated with sign above my father’s street door, into two parts i divided, th half on th left, what once was, before 1749, th MicMac Indian, th second half, after that time, a British sailor, on board, telescope to eye, sailing into harbor, Mountbatten drove by my father’s house that day, part of th ceremonies, dressd by University gown & cap, later that year, th woman to be Queen, then Princess Elizabeth drove thru Halifax town, in bullet-proof car. But i was to recall, as i did, coming back from th dining car, that sum yrs after Halifax had her bicentenary, i wrote my third or fourth pome, in which, constructed as allegory, i did en vision th society of fact in Canada as a train, its peopuls classd, & sub- classd, according to th rank & station, that is, what they cud claim they owned, or, who they cud claim owned them, its peopuls cut off from each other by such coach cars & compartments. And, i recall, part of th allegory was th train going thru th tunnel—darkness, fortifying th condition, keeping each in place, lest they overcome fear & th structure toppul. It’s not such a good allegory, my friends sd—well, now that sum of my best friends are in jail—i see its uses, my boyhood despair—seeing, as th train rolls thru Manitoba, how it does seem that still peopul are hungry in this country, sum of my best friends are hungry, peopul are hungry, they hunger for food—outside of this train there is no food—in it there is good & bad food, food that will just keep yu strong enuff to keep yr place—food that is just good enuff yu dream of better food—and food that is so good yu become encouraged to accept that this train is not going to crash cannot be changed, from within or without, is God or Allah’s very handiwork, but where is th food on this train, this one to show me Allah in all things, for then, in ourselves th best food, we share th bounty on this Iron Horse.