Postcard, dated 1908, Hugh C. Leighton Co., Wikipedia photo.
Postcard, dated 1908, Hugh C. Leighton Co., Wikipedia photo.

Early snow blowing, slate waves cresting, we
Struggled to make course good to au Haut,
Maine fishing island, first confronted by Atlantic
Storms. Upon this outcropping of folded granite
Shores and spruce-draped hills, I met Vivienne,
Face of light, divine radiance, her voice whisper
Soft. Lobsterman’s daughter, she served as
Postmistress, windowed room in their cabin,
Penny postcards in 1910.

Before setting sail for Stonington, I hastily made
Senseless scrawl on a scrap of paper, “I will not
Forget you, will return when ice opens.” That
Winter I took to rocking seas in a sailing skiff,
Whether boat or coffin I knew not which, varnished
Oak against scaring ice, charged with mail delivery,
Several oil skin-wrapped books for Vivienne, wind
In my favor, I rounded Birch Point to safety of
Protected thoroughfares.

Ten-years hence, we had suffered first Great War,
Ravages of trenches, gas, and barbed wire, I returned
Battle-shaken to Vivienne, my bride and guiding light,
Her letters and postcards keeping me alive. Taking
Work as a lighthouse keeper, I found solace amongst
Maine islands, song of surf, dance of braided pines,
Rotating beacon warning watermen of hazardous
Shores, and Vivienne with a post office of her own,
Married life was promising for two native Mainers.

Years on island margins passed pleasantly and with
Passion, regular ferries, vegetables and berries, and
Two daughters, Diane and Emily, our moon and
Stars, hard-working schoolgirls, who loved reading
And the water, off to college, steamers to Portland
Then to Yarmouth, families of their own. Vivienne
And I continued our duties, post office and light-
House tending, enjoying short summers, enduring
Maine winters without our two blesséd girls.

Fate took a dark turn during the Great Hurricane of
1944, hundreds lost at sea, including my life-light,
Vivienne. On that horrid September day, heavy winds
And crashing waves breached ships along the New
England coast. When alone on sea-scented evenings,
At edge of pale moonlight, I can glimpse her shining
Face above foggy waters, amongst sweeping spruces
We both loved, immortal radiance, she hovers just
Beyond my reach, lost to restless tides.

Postcard, circa 1910, Mason Brother and Co., Boston, MA, Wikimedia photo.
Postcard, circa 1910, Mason Brothers and Co., Boston, MA, Wikimedia photo.
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