Kroetsch uses the poem to wonder how to “grow a prairie town.” He decides this is achieved through a series of absences: of silk worms, Lord Nelson, pyramids, lutes, a condom dispenser in the Lethbridge Hotel, and also, the absence of psychiatrists. Robert Kroetsch was born in 1927 in Heisler, Alberta. He attended the University of Alberta and the University of Iowa. After a stint working on the river boats in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, he taught writing and literature at the University of Calgary and the University of Manitoba. Kroetsch was the author eight novels including The Puppeteer, Alibi, and What the Crow Said. Also to his credit are several volumes of poetry and non-fiction works. Robert Kroetsch was a Governor General’s Award winner. He passed away in 2011.