In verse: Maine places and people

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Produced by Dennis Camire

This week’s poem is by Mike Bove, who teaches at Southern Maine Community College.

 

Great Aunt June Saves the World

By Mike Bove

 

On the banks of the Androscoggin they lived

in a shack. Frost between wood slats, a paltry

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wall between winter and themselves: children

with absent parents, still in short pants in January.

No money for wool, they watched men set traps

on the ice and at sundown, curled by the stove.

She wiped her brother’s tears and took his hand.

This is how we do it, she thought, and brought him

onto the river with screwdrivers to spring the furry

captives, their eyes glinting thanks in twilight.

Great Aunt June saved the world one beaver at a time.

This she celebrates with family and breadsticks

eighty-five years later in the Olive Garden after

her brother’s funeral, a eulogy she couldn’t hear,

as she remembered his tears and saw a Chickadee

dip like river water from one spruce to another.

 

Dennis Camire can be reached at [email protected]

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