alice major

Privacy Acts

I’ve just been asked to sign a waiver
so the boarding-kennel manager
can hand out information to the vet
about the cat
in an emergency—a recent edict of
the privacy act.

I’m glad society’s concerned about
protecting data on the cat’s behalf.
He is a private animal, without a doubt,
has never answered
questions as to where he’s been, or where
he got that bird.

It’s good to know the law protects
our right to be invisible
beneath the bushes.

Our civic edifice is founded on the fact
that you can go inside your castle
with whatever bird you’ve caught
and close the door.
The facts are no one’s business but your own.
No need to share.

Alice Major has had her 11th collection, Welcome to the Anthropocene, recently published by the University of Alberta Press. Her work has garnered awards such as the Pat Lowther prize and a National Magazine Award Gold Medal. Recently she was invited to deliver the League of Poets’ annual Anne Szumigalski memorial lecture for 2018. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where she served as first poet laureate and founded the Edmonton Poetry Festival.

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