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Here Below

by Bill Stinson

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The gale that blew,

Our skiff turned round,

Three corpses floating

Heaven bound.


Dear Sally

Of her witness penned

A letter grieving

Loss of friend.


But spirits anchored

Drift and sink

And breathe the water

Others drink.


From Alewife run

To freshet flow,

We count the years off

Here below.


Now, are we getting

Through to you?

Can you hear

Our hapless crew?


The shriek of the bald,

The call of the loon,

Our voices imprinted

In desolate tune.


When you look down,

You see right through us.

The fish aren’t biting,

You never knew us.


When we look up,

We see your boat,

And tug at your line

To get your goat.


And sometimes when

The ice runs thick,

We burp and gurgle,

Crack and kick.


But mostly we just

Drift and pace,

And long for Essie’s

Blissful face.


How cursed

Her memory’s o’ershadowed

By our regretful

Death song hallowed.


To all who read

These words, beware!

Of Seven Tree Pond

And traveling there.

Author's note:

This poem is based on an event that occurred in Union, Maine on May 13, 1793, in which three women drowned on Seven Tree Pond upon returning from the funeral of a friend.  For a complete description, see John L. Sibley's History of the Town of Union, Maine, 1851, pp. 69-71.

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