Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Eighteen eider ducks

are swimming in the sun

from Vineyard Haven’s harbor

on their lighthouse run

underneath our dock and by

our bright sand cove

they pause to feed, then spin and

dance in pairs, as if in love

with the freezing winter weather

come too soon: November, first

plunging from Indian summer

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November 5, 2008

November 5, 2008

The horse is Obama

The geese are Obama

The green field is Obama

The trees on the ridge are Obama

The clouds are Obama

The blue sky is Obama

The woman who cries is Obama

The boy who became a man is Obama

The husband who is away is Obama

The friend who says wow is Obama

The black woman who voted for McCain is Obama

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Autumn

Autumn

Dear Crickets, doomed to die,

Bless you, for so am I.

How bravely your song of Autumn

Accepts without remorse

The ordaining of Winter.

Hidden in the hearth,

faith of future generations

Beyond the snow, beyond death:

’Tis humble your chirrup

And full of courage

As we too might be

If we could but see

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Dog at the Funeral

Dog at the Funeral

For Dave Willey (1947-2008)

I didn’t see him when two planes did a fly-by,

one on the right peeling off in missing-man formation.

Not until I saw his picture with Dave and Dave’s family —

a big lug of a dog, a Great Dane, but smaller, a Doberman,

but ears cupped, long tail, bright eyes, and an open mouth.

He walked through the door as we sat, looking around

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In Their Own Words: Ben Williams
Ben Williams

Welcome. We’re here today to get approval to leave this place. To be told that we’re done, al fin, la fine. But if we were to place this summer, right here, on a timeline of the things that our class will create, the ideas that our class will manifest, the places that our class will go, you would find that we, the class of 2008, are not done.

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Jeremias

I Remember Jerry best at work

Two drawknives

A peavey

And an ax

A tractor trailer load

Of spiles

Oak trees

From up north

We’d bark

Me a teenage

Local kid

Him a father

Fresh from San Miguel

He came with Bernadette

And the girls

Work for Manuel Santos

In the cemetery

Yardwork

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Leaving

Leaving

How can I bear to leave this place,

take the next boat out into the harbor,

pass the buoy, toss

a penny into the water for a return?

How can I bear leaving after 39 years —

built my own house, planted my garden,

tall-trees design, skylight to watch the evening sky,

see the night flight plane lights

blinking their way across the sea.

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To a Shucker
Steve Ewing

To a Shucker

Green side up

Knife goes in

Cut it clean

Top shell off

Thumb on guts

One smooth swipe

Next the meat

Sweet delight

Eye in air

Mystic tale

Scallop king

Holy grail

Bloaters swell

Beans all night

Shuckers wage

The endless fight

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Down by the Lighthouse
Chris Cowan

In June my sister, Carole Cowan Dunscombe, died at the age of 51. My parents survived her as no parent should have to do. The timeliness of the Children’s Memorial at Edgartown Light couldn’t have been any better and my parents were able to have a stone placed there in her memory. Carole couldn’t get down to the lighthouse due to her wheelchair, however she spent many days looking out on the light from Memorial Wharf.

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For Nancy Fischer: 1949-1973
Arnie Fisher
Nancy died in seventy-three
She was only twenty-three
She was a gamer
She was a good one
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