Why We Went to Florida by Glen Sorestad

We went to Florida to find out what all the fuss was about. For most of our lives we’ve heard that in winter Canadians are there everywhere, spread across the beaches, lolling like white manatees on the glistening sands. We’re told they pack all the little bars and watering holes with large flat screen TVs, where they can watch the hockey games they cannot live without, that give their lives meaning and identity. In fact, they’re said to be entirely responsible for the presence of two NHL teams in a state that is sea, sand and swamp. They probably make up the majority of fans at Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers games. So acutely do they miss the snow and ice they’ve left behind, they need to attend the games or watch the telecasts to nourish their roots. When the Florida weather turns cool and sensible Floridians are layered in all the clothes they own, northerners down from Quebec, Ontario and the Maritime provinces are the ones still walking around in tee-shirts and shorts on the beaches. They’re the only golfers on the golf courses. They make wise cracks about the Floridian lack of fortitude. This year in Florida what we found instead of the disparaged snowbirds from Canada were New Englanders and Michiganites and Minnesotans, there for the same reason, doing the same things.

Glen Sorestad is a much published poet who lives in Saskatoon. His poems have appeared in literary magazines and journals, anthologies and textbooks, all over North America and in many other countries. His poems have been translated into seven languages. His latest book of poems is Hazards of Eden, published by Lamar University Press.