Frenchboro, Long Island at edge of Gulf of Maine.
Frenchboro, Long Island at edge of Gulf of Maine.

Returning home, leaving mainland for my
Family isle, memories of winter isolation,
Deep snow, warm summers and scar-leaving
Insect bites, my visit after five-year absence,
Demands of work, months slipped by, mail
And phone calls sufficed until last month,
When my island home beckoned me.

O! Life-changing clarion call, I recognized it,
Like my ancestors did 200 years ago, to set
Roots on Maine islands, whether Swans or
Long Island, it mattered not, where skiffs
Washed ashore, first cabins built, scent of
Firewood smoke lingering amongst trees,
Along docks, then as it still does today.

Yes, I prayed, hands clutching steering wheel,
Driving south to Bass Harbour, winding roads
I remembered, entanglements of heart and
Soul, sun rising, misty bays and inlets, lobster
Boats going out, lapping surf on high-sloped
Beaches, skies a brighter blue, long walk down
To floating docks and to arriving ferry.

Waters I knew well, islands of my childhood,
Familiar gulf swells, churning diesels, smell
Of salt air, I stood on the stern quarter, wave
Riding, remembering who I used to be, what
I had forcefully forgotten, and yes, forsaken,
I was a Maine island girl, marrow deep, misty
Morning sun, Long Island on horizon emerged.

Entrance into Frenchboro, Long Island, Maine.
Entrance into Frenchboro, Long Island, Maine.

Passing Sister Islands, entering long Frenchboro
Habour, in that forty-five minute passage, I saw
Life differently, there were two of me, woman of
Mainland, education, work, and responsibilities,
And returning island daughter, humble and yet
Proud of my family and heritage. It meant week-
End ferry rides. Where else would I rather be?

For more on Frenchboro, Maine see website for
Maine Coast Heritage Trust.

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