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A Toast to the Baltimore Oriole

Here’s to your good looks and the neat way you shit
with a brisk bob like a curtsey, easy as song.
Here’s to your song, which,
though “neither rhythmical nor musical” (The Birds of Canada),
relieves me of all speech and never deals with what is past,
or passing, or to come.
And, as a monument to the sturdy fragile woven
scrotum of your nest,
I hereby dedicate baseball.

—Don McKay

from Camber, 2004
McClelland & Stewart Ltd., Toronto, Canada

Copyright 2004 by Don McKay.
All rights reserved.

“A Toast to the Baltimore Oriole” from Camber by Don McKay. Used by permission of McClelland & Stewart Ltd.

Poetry 180

About the Poet

Don McKay is the author of 16 poetry collections, including Paradoxides (McClelland and Stewart, 2013).

Learn more about Martha Collins at The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry.