Lerch shares her fi­nal poem as the town’s poet lau­re­ate

Sackville Tribune - - OBITS/COMMUNITY -

This poem was meant to be read at the Mayor’s New Year’s Levee, but the event was can­celled due to the weather. We hope you en­joy…

WHEN I KNEW I WOULD STAY

When I knew I would stay

And some­one wanted me to stay,

When I was given hang­ers and space

And had al­pha­bet­ized my books,

When like a strong ar­tic­u­lated wing

I was at last con­nected and free,

Then could I ven­ture forth,

Walk the land where every­thing was new:

The name­less va­ri­eties of grasses on the marsh, Spring ma­nure heavy in the air,

Au­tumn blue­berry fields turn­ing im­pos­si­bly red, A golden pro­ces­sion of tama­racks into win­ter, Tidal creeks, lake, bay and ocean close,

And snow, snow, snow.

So much to ex­plore:

Bri­tish Set­tle­ment Road to its dead end,

The trail be­yond Slack’s Cove and bike path out to Midgic, The long hill into Mem­ram­cook val­ley and the quiet

At St. Anne’s church.

Learn­ing to pro­nounce Shi­mogue, Mi­ramichi, That boats from Ber­muda had docked at Sackville, Singing new melodies to old car­ols and hymns,

Meet­ing six peo­ple I know on the way to the post of­fice, Hav­ing Aca­dian and Mic­maq friends,

Watch­ing the chil­dren of friends grow up.

It was child­hood re­vis­ited in de­light and aban­don

And I wanted to say every­thing new.

No won­der a piece of drift­wood be­came

“A god supine, serene on iron juts of rock,

The wind and tide whirling and writ­ing you,

Sil­ver il­lu­mined script,

How one wing fully spread an­chors you in red mud.” No won­der the shap­ing forces of child­hood, Am­biva­lent mother and a fa­ther lost to him­self,

The des­per­ate need for and fear of fam­ily

Be­came clar­i­fied in this salt sea air.

I fi­nally wore through a pair of shoes I’d walked in for­ever, And feet touched ground.

The beauty of two

Could flower into one,

One full moon shared at Beause­jour and Mikanos,

One con­flu­ence, only the flow

And com­ing to seren­ity in the flow.

-Mar­i­lyn Lerch

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