In verse: Maine places and people


Produced by Dennis Camire

This week’s poem is by Linda Aldrich of Cape Elizabeth. Her most recent book is “March and Mad Women,” published by Cherry Grove Press.



By Linda Aldrich



“When we examine a nest,

we place ourselves at the origin

of confidence in the world.”

Gaston Bachelard



A vireo’s nest, tiny and perfect, woven

of pine needles, strips of birch bark,

and a thin piece of white string

threaded from top to bottom.

The bird’s signature,

the way Navajo women sign rugs.

I look into the empty cup as though

to read tea leaves. Sometimes

I crawl in to feel Braille

on my back. Letters bending,

each needle a work of circle-making,

the round room we yearn for,

the swaying rock-a-bye and cradle croon.



My mother wrote her name in cursive

thousands of times on yellow legal pads,

as if to bring herself more into this world

by signing up for it, as if by letting

the still strange letters of her married

name become more rounded, more

comfortable walking their green

tightropes, she might finally

come all the way home to us,

where we waited in vain

for the circle of her arms.


Dennis Camire can be reached at