Canada's capital, Ottawa, is known for its festivals;
The first three weeks in February, each year, is "Winterlude" Festival.

On the Rideau Canal, is the skating rink - the longest, maintained in the world;
With over seven kilometers in length, there is plenty of room to be twirled.

The weekends draw the largest crowd so we all hope for temperatures cold;
A certain thickness of ice there must be - and that is more precious than gold.

Different countries participate in another weather-testing art;
It is a garden of gleaming ice sculptures - and only the best take part.

They last as long as weather permits; too warm and they melt away;
If I were a sculptor, it would break my heart to see my masterpiece sway.

Canadians like the cold - good thing! With our temps you need to be hearty;
Families, together, skate and play and then there is also a party!

A Winterlude party is a "Beaver Tail" - whole-wheat pastry so tasty;
Deep-fried, piping-hot, your choice of toppings; to choose you musn't be hasty.

Will it be cinnamon, maple syrup, or - maybe just some jam;
Then there is cheese and things more hearty - perhaps a little ham.

Hot chocolate or coffee to warm you through and then "just another mile";
Skating down the Ridea is so much fun; that's why everyone wears a smile.

Imagine, just last summer, when the boat tours took this route;
"It couldn't have been as much fun as this - visiting Winterlude."

Joan Adams Burchell

written July 12, 2003

Winter Poems

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