Magazine

Maine Reflections

In Maine, virgin soil is still tilled as I walk; oxen strainto pull a large fieldstone from its place.The hard crack is heard of stone on stone– [gravityform id=”1″ title=”false” ]each one upon the last as walls are built up.Women in long dresses bend, […]

By Cynthia Brackett-Vincent

Dec 01 2008


In Maine,


virgin soil is still tilled as I walk; oxen strain

to pull a large fieldstone from its place.

The hard crack is heard of stone on stone–

each one upon the last as walls are built up.

Women in long dresses bend, pluck blackberries

from the sun. Inside, precious crimson syrup

seeps through sieves.


Now drumbeats hush as arrowheads whoosh

through air. Long strips of birch bark

are peeled from trees, fastened into homes.

Along the Sandy River, the Amaseconti–

First Ones Here.


Even this ledge-rock

once trembled against ice. In its striations,

the teeth of a glacier live. My fingers

caress what became smooth from the rough.


My father’s voice echoes in the fallen tree’s rings.

A ring is a year–

in each ring:

listen! the story of a year.


When Even the Inanimate Seem to Rise and Fall With Breath


It’s that time of year in Maine–

same time six years ago

when together, we fell in love with this bit of rocky land

after one traipse around its woodsy path,

one round trip down the gravel road–

that godly time in May in Maine when even

the inanimate seem to rise and fall with breath–

when along the road fiddleheads still knot tightly into fists,

the grading truck now come and gone–when you can hit fifty

in the Jeep, when everything

but this one moment and your future

billow out behind you in a cloud of dust.


Cynthia Brackett-Vincent holds a B.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Maine at Farmington. Her poetry has had state (Maine Poets Society), regional (New England Writers), and national (National Federation of State Poetry Societies) recognition. She’s judged poetry for Writer’s Digest, among others. Over 100 of her poems as well as her nonfiction have appeared in the United States and abroad. From rural Maine, she publishes the Aurorean poetry journal, edits anthologies, creates greeting cards featuring her photographs of New England, and she unabashedly delights in grandmotherhood.