Maine sun has no warmth, north side of
The house, shaded island hills, thick forest
Stands, all remain night cold, worsened
By October ocean gale, wind whipping
From the gulf, rolling whitecap bays, we
Are marooned, except for courageous mail-
Boat crews, ferrying passengers, supplies,
We huddle in boat cabin, winter has arrived,
Announced by wind-howling seas.
Island navigation in wind and freezing rain
Is worsened at low tide, island channels
Narrowed, boat steering more critical even in
Protected thoroughfares, but not from hard-
Gusting gulf gales, far from easy summer
Passages, when fog and mist were concerns,
Cloud shrouded peaks of Maine’s Isle au Haut
And Long Island, water clear-still, young
Flounder swimming at sunny water surface.
Hardy islanders, we are prepared, coolers
Loaded onto ferries, full of frozen food
From mainland stores, wind-bent figures
Load and unload pickup trucks, using both
Hands descending the Stonington ferry
Ramp. Same for Bass Harbor, blustery walk
To floating pier, as ferry engines rev and
Reverse, maneuvers bringing her alongside,
Passengers greeted, quickly taking seats.
Thus is my home, Maine waters, islands,
Lobster fishing bays, diesel engines, wood
Fires, extra pair of gloves tucked away in
My jacket, warm socks reaching to my
Knees, boots big and clunky before snows
have fallen, my secret stash of comfort
Food when crust-frozen snows bury us,
Piled against wind-facing front door,
When confronted by Maine October gale.
Written on occasion of first snow in Maine highlands,
ocean gales stretching along Maine islands to Lubec.