Oct 30, 2020

Today’s poem is “Home” by Dawn Potter who is the author of eight books of prose and poetry. She directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching and leads the high school writing program at Monson Arts. She lives in Portland.

She writes, “'Home' is a sonnet about the first year I spent in Maine. When we were 28 years old, my husband and I rented a decrepit farmhouse in the Somerset County town of Harmony. We knew no one in town, the house was falling down around us, and we seemed to spend most of our first few months there listening to music, stoking the stove, and trying to read this new place as if it were a foreign language. As things turned out, we spent the next 20 years in Harmony (though not in that miserable house). What was once strange became our everyday world.”

by Dawn Potter

So wild it was when we first settled here.
Spruce roots invaded the cellar like thieves.
Skunks bred on the doorstep, cluster flies jeered.
Ice-melt dripped shingles and screws from the eaves.
We slept by the stove we ate meals with our hands.
At dusk we heard gunshots, the wind and guitars.
We imagined a house with a faucet that ran
From a well that held water.  We canvassed the stars.
If love is an island, what map was our hovel?
Dogs howled on the mainland, our cliff washed away.
We hunted for clues with a broken-backed shovel.
We drank all the wine, night dwindled to grey. 
      When we left, a flat sunrise was threatening snow, 
      But the frost heaves were deep.  We had to drive slow.

Poem Copyright © 2014 by Dawn Potter. Reprinted from Same Old Story, CavanKerry Press, 2014, by permission of Dawn Potter.