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.