Voices from Maine by
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Voices from Maine 

Sensory images congealing into a poem about my Grandmother's Maine

Notes for a poem

being on an island, an island being
Grammy’s porch, sitting looking in                           (kneeling, peering)
at grownups at their lobsters
Nana’s porch, her grandchildren my own
son and daughter, asleep in her beds,
my knees pulled up against her table

in Ken’s kitchen, my curly hair, my first marriage
in Ken’s dining room, a blue table, the 1972 Olympic massacre
, the royal wedding
, the little black radio
, my pink thank-you tile

falling asleep in the moldy rooms
pink, rain-stained wall paper and the slanted attic
blue, first in the sun, for sons the better beds
yellow, narrow with scary closet
my mother’s childhood
never the best, now mine

this is a child’s summer vacation in Maine
rain through open screens
the strangeness of night insect noise

bringing my children now
naming my mother their grandmother
my own grandmother’s dust in mothballs and sandwiches

this is the voices poem
carrying across the river
the wide salty river
what exactly are they carrying –
the voices

Profile photo of Jennifer Swanton Brown Jennifer Swanton Brown
Poet. Nurse. Teacher. Mom. Daughter. Sister. Knitter. Swimmer. Contemplative in training. Follow "A Twirly Life" (twirlyword.wordpress.com).

Tags: Maine, river, mothballs, sandwiches, Grammy, Nana
Characterizations: , moving, well written


  1. David Rock says:

    Evocative, engaging and very well written story.

  2. Ruth Elaine says:

    I love the voices carrying across the wide salty river. It makes me think about a river of tears, and to me it seems like the voices are on both banks, and all the way across, and everything is going to be alright.

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