Leaving Acadia

What was there to see
Beyond home?
Meaningless chatter
Of idle miscreants
Her father told her
Borderlands bursting with diaspora
And touching that, the Sick Country
Disease and devastation
Why leave?

Meadowlands unfolded around her
The waving green of an upright people
A young sheep bleated
For its mother in the distance
And beyond that, their closest neighbor
Never too near
For preservation

She had heard
Of healthy cities
Places bustling with action
Street musicians and market stalls
Copper pots and scarlet tapestries
A figment at best
She was warned, let it rest

The sun was setting now
Over the eastern mountains
Gripping her walking staff and
Shrugging her pack into
A comfortable position
She whispered a grateful prayer
That she had not listened


Shoulders burning from effort
Jacob heaved the wiry net
From the brooding ocean
Each pull elicited a roar
Less from exertion than sorrow
Difficult dreams of Solange
Left him marching hungover through the dawn
Down to the shore, and work
Praying the sea would wash his memory clear
An hour in and no relief
Forcibly he brought his family to mind.

A final tow as the sun rose
Overhead the net sailed
Generally laden with ore and life
The indigo shells of the mollusks
Landing with a baritone thud
On the dense, wet sand
Today there was only the brisk slap
Of empty webbing
High on the dry beach
Jacob awoke to where he stood
To his left and right, fellow harvesters standing
Struck with equal confusion
As Horror settled in.


She stopped at the edge of the forest
Which fell sharply into the sea
Below she saw the faint rush
Of shimmering color
Their light, high voices
Rising through the waves and up
To the trees where she stood
Inhaling the salt air
Her hands spread wide
She fingered the tender pines at her side
And jumped