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The World in Present Tense
A Collection of Contemporary Poetry @ The Other Pages   http://theotherpages.org/universe/


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Congratulations to Robin on getting her first book published - and re-issued in paperback (June 2007)
Hardwood Point
    On a gray
    foggy
    summer day
    blessed by persistent drizzle
    we embarked down the
    narrow and rutted
    dirt road
    finally coming to a halt
    near a
    withered
    crabapple tree
    alone it stood
    like some aging sentinel
    left to watch over another era
    I followed
    a trail
    of wild berries
    until I spied a tiny
    cemetery
    tucked into the woods
    I roamed amongst the stones
    finally stumbling upon
    the memorial for my
    grandmother
    I envisioned
    her simple cottage
    under the apple tree
    the children at her skirts
    while she tended to her chores
    He is out to sea again
    the burden is all
    hers
    the fog
    closed in around me
    carried me back
    I understood
    her isolation
    I wondered
    did the rain on her roof
    at night
    comfort her or only
    amplify
    her loneliness?

       Robin Berard, © 2003

Ramsdell's Cove
    Ramsdell's Cove
    on a bright August day:
    glittering rays
    reflecting off cobalt waters-
    splinters
    of summer sun.

    I sat on the shore
    in total stillness,
    alone but for my thoughts
    of solitude,
    out here
    where few men wander.

    So still,
    I could hear the blueberries
    ripening in the field behindů
    quiet enough to hear
    the ancient pines
    whisper.

    A fickle wind slid onshore
    pushing before it
    a wispy fog bank.
    I watched the fog tiptoe
    into the cove
    enveloping all
    in timelessness.

    Gentle fog?
    Deceptive fog-
    mollifying even the sun,
    now a powerless, hazy orb,
    its softened light scattered
    aimlessly.

    Then a subtle stirring
    of oars in water
    and the silhouette
    of a schooner
    that had crept
    onto the scene.

    Suddenly,
    a fleet of phantom ships,
    a ghostly brigade,
    tall and proud
    shrouded
    in the guileful fog.

    Around me,
    the muffled voices
    of seafaring men,
    the rattle of chains, the rip of ropes
    yanked
    against rusted moorings.

    An ancient ship
    pulled alongside
    a well-worn pier.
    Her crew unloaded precious cargo
    passing barrels
    from man to man.

    The shuffle of boots on a
    creaking decků
    bent backs and
    knarled hands -
    they worked, oblivious to me,
    spectator,
    time traveler,
    until their wares
    were piled high
    on the weathered planking.

    And,
    as silently as they had come,
    they departed,
    gray sails billowing,
    sliding deftly
    from the sheltered cove.
    With them
    went the vagrant fog
    leaving behind
    a glowing August day
    and the echoes
    of a different century.

       Robin Berard, © 2003

Full Circle
    How do you recapture a well-spent youth?

    And if you could,
    would you grasp it in your hand
    forever,
    and never,
    let it fly away?

    Once there was a child,
    cherished, blessed;
    she grew into a woman,
    distant,
    unrecognizable.

    How now to return?

    Deep within lies the essence of the girl,
    spirited, joyful;
    the years hide
    her soul,
    like rings on a tree.

    She searches for the child within,
    searching ,
    for the path that leads
    back,
    full circle.

       Robin Berard, © 2003

Sister
    I am just your little sister
    at your heels like a lost puppy
    wanting you to notice me.
    You'd blow in like a summer breeze,
    ripe with some new success,
    and stay long enough to steal my heart
    all over again.

    I am just your little sister.
    Life was a grand experiment -
    you lived in a different world
    that had no boundaries
    while I remained behind
    imagining I could one day be like you.

    I am just your little sister
    who wanted you to love her.
    I planned to follow you forever
    even though I wasn't sure I'd keep up.
    But you left
    and never looked back
    to see me trailing behind.

    I am just your little sister
    for all eternity.
    You achieved the ultimate one-up,
    for how can I ever compare
    to one who is gone?
    And how will you ever know
    that I was up to the challenge?

    I am just your little sister
    who wanted to share our lives, our dreams.
    Now I am graying -
    my heart is weary.
    I've had to do it all without you.
    To this day, more than anything,
    I need you here, with me.
    I am not just your little sister,
    I am a woman alone.
    Why didn't you stay?

       Robin Berard, © 2003
 
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