To and From Madawaska


19 Summer Street Kennebunk, ME, 04043
United States
42° 21' 18.09" N, 71° 3' 35.6436" W

At night I walked along the railroad tracksof an unabandoned harbor running adjacentto the Penobscot. The cold air, crisp,interrupted by the smoke stacksof a paper mill, down aways. “Pan-Am Maine”coupled with graffiti adorned each train car.  These boxes stood desolate in the limelight of moonlit facts:What travels so far with weightless cargo,the tears of trees and the sweat of men,returns home, obeying the blackof a forested landscape. The town sleeps with stores unopened.  Tomorrow the train is   going        going    ...gone  but it all sinks back...   The Penobscot compels us upstream to stalk the indigenous,Mr. Douglas Fir, hosting Ms. Lynx (maiden name Canadian), or a recluse moose.  And there are few visitors, nor are they wanted.  They arouse intrigue, but seldom resuscitate countenancefrom the depths of locals’ frozen chests,furniture trapped under collapsed roofs,trachea caught in the chill, esophaguschoked with an archaic life. And the mountainsin their grandeur stand by with stark white faces.  But they are beautiful. To all of us,they are. Should we be seeing them right now?  Why are we here in the rough? Which is Douglas among the Firs?    The river is what brought us here,ice blocks that once carried familiesmelt into the free-flow of falling.  Nestled houses enlivened with emptiness stand nearthe vast expanses of nothing. And nothing butthe wind can be heard. Silence is nice, but discomforts.  My cold fingers clasped against earsgrasp onto hair chilled like the grass offallow fields. A moose, warm with wool,lingers long enough to be noticed and disappears.  And all these skinny trees along the river hide everything.  Dense but thin, these boreal walls.    And when my breath faltersbeneath the weight of this worldfar North of expectations, I find myselfdrowning in the watersof this Penobscot river. Night slips pastmy eyelids at an unusual hour, obscuringthe sight with the opaque curtain of Maine augury.  What has brought these people here, a land unforgivingwith its barren and bleak aura?  Why have thoughts led me to something else? Not sure.  The fleeting sun beguiles,but I have never seen stars so bright.


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