An island in Maine

North Haven Island


A family floats every summer,

On the Island of the warm and hopeful.

Electricity runs to each homestead:

Filling bedrooms with current events.

The bay around contains the fragile with circling currents

While trodden paths define the limits

Of their lives.


There is a house for every child:

Some old some new some mortgaged,

Some with memories not in safes,

Some with memories denied,

Replaced by wishbone walls.

Construction so brittle every word is heard

Every wish, forsaken.

At daybreak gulls cry the auk of sorrow.

At night ravens savage the lavender of sleep.


There are boats in the harbor

With navigational devices guaranteed to find the mainland,

They always fail.

Some families float for centuries

Bobbing on Penobscot Bay directed

By whales and dolphins

Eating sea crusts                                                                                                                                                               

Speaking no evil

The language of darkness.


There is an annual summer tea

Where all return to drink chocolate

And defer whipped cream

And hold their hands to their eyebrows

Searching the horizon for amazement,

And when it arrives

Refuse to feel it.

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