Produced by Dennis Camire

This week’s poem is by Claire Hersom of Winthrop. Her most recent book is “Dreamscape,” published by Moon Pie Press.


Winter Song

By Claire Hersom


Arctic air finally froze Maranacook, crackly white, milky blue.

Ice shacks inch out from the coves toward the lake center,

Snowmobilers follow, challenging the observer’s idea of stupidity.


Just last week it was open water and already, three this year

In Rangeley Lake, one body recovered, two still under the ice waiting,

Friends above sculpting round holes for salmon and bass.


That news didn’t stop the pre-teen boys from walking as if invincible

Off the boat landing banking near where water gushes

Over the dam and never freezes.


They walk on translucent glass, like the first freeze of puddles;

Go boldly, holding big rocks over their heads to crash the thin

Scale of skim where the ice stops and open water begins.


A town cop pulls up beside the bridge, tells them to move on.

They dance around like skaters in a ring, a few swirls, skids,

And cheeky grins, their youth caged by a conspiracy of reason.


Music of their fifteen-minute dance with mishap rings down the lake

And up the hillsides like a mother’s cry for supper, a place

They’ll be tonight instead in tomorrow’s headlines of tragedy.


The cop goes back to his cruiser, and I back to my old age

Where even hindsight has learned so much more

Than realized; like how many times I too tossed myself


Forward not quite knowing if the ground would open

And swallow me, or have a little mercy

And let me pass.


Dennis Camire can be reached at [email protected]

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