I woke up in my city and heard a winter sparrow singing
in a tree's courtroom like a passionate lawyer proclaiming
today's innocence, today's alibi. We live, your Honour,
in forgetful times. The old horrors continue to horrify.
Our usual injuries will injure us again, the pin repeats
itself to a popped balloon, the ashes cherish their fire.
Yet evidence suggests a bouquet of flowers can't tell
if the occasion is for sorrow or congratulations,
and the world's hidden radiance slips though us
like a hand searching for its sleeve. Happiness,
can you account for your whereabouts?
Joy, explain the event in your own words.
The morning light is sworn in as a witness.
The sparrow sings on and on without end.
The defense never rests.
For each year of their appointment the Poet Laureate for the City of Kingston writes one new, original poem that addresses or reflects one or more aspects of life in the City, which they read at the Mayor's annual Levee on New Year's Day. At the 2019 Levee incoming Poet Laureate Jason Heroux read his "I Woke Up In My City".