A Poem for Maine
A grandfather living in Massachusetts puts his Maine experience to verse for a grandchild in Andover.
I live in Massachusetts. Spent many years calling on the paper mills and other industries in Maine. My youngest son and his wife live in Andover. They are both teachers in the area. We spend many days visiting our only grandchild there, so I decided to put down some of my thoughts and impressions for them. They encouraged me to send it to you. Even if it isn't of a Robert Frost caliber, I hope you enjoy it. - A. Papianou
I saw the western mountains, and the rockbound eastern shore;
I ate fresh boiled lobster, and heard the rapids roar.
I canoed down the Dead Diamond watching otters at their play,
And listened to the chatter of a noisy, scolding jay.
I watched the sun rise in the east as it left Spain behind,
Then kissed Katahdin, Cadillac, and every tall green pine.
It took all day to pass us by, chasing clouds ahead,
And as it set it gave us orange, purples, pinks, and red.
Paper mills of every size are the lifeblood of this scene,
From Madawaska down toward York, and all points in between.
Trucks with logs or loads of chips are always on their way,
Bringing feed for the machines to run another day.
I've been to Houlton where the plows have piled the snow so high
That all you see is tops of poles and birds as they fly by.
But now and then a gap appears where someone has cut through,
And for a fleeting moment, a house comes into view.
I've ferried out on Casco Bay and picnicked on the shore,
Watching schooners raise their sails and rowers dip an oar.
The lights at Quoddy, Owl's Head, Pemaquid, and York
Blink out to sea to guide the boats all safely back to port.
Umbagog and Penobscot and other strange long names
Pay homage to the native tribes and credence to their claims.
Then Norway, Paris, Poland, China, Denmark, Mexico,
Give rise to questions that belie the status quo.
One son canoed Chesuncook Lake, and one the Allagash;
They saw the beauty of the land as each oar made its splash.
Each has skied Maine, fished and hiked, and climbed up many a hill;
Both have loved the land they've seen, and one does live there still.
I've shopped the stores in Kittery, Wiscasset, and Old Port,
Bought chowder up in Camden town, blueberries by the quart;
Antiques in Gardiner, Kennebunk, Camden, and Boothbay,
And many, many little shops in towns along the way.
I've visited Bar Harbor, Boothbay, Augusta too.
Each has its special ambiance that reaches out to you.
There still are many, many sights that I would like to see
In Maine, the Pine Tree State, the way that life should be.
Al Papianou lives in Foxborough, MA - "Home of the Patriots!", he writes.
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- By: Al Papianou