Take Heart 23 May 2012

Posted Wednesday, May 23, 2012 in Culture

Take Heart 23 May 2012

A Conversation in Poetry

Edited and Introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

Once a seasonal resident of Bristol, Sarah Jane Wolf-Wade has lived in that town year-round for fourteen years -- long enough to develop the perspective she offers in today’s poem.


They All Come Back

By Sarah Jane Woolf-Wade


The girl who shone in Broadway shows

was born here in the village on Fourth of July

and a Rockette who danced in the chorus line

came back to raise babies ten miles away.


The clamdigger brothers, working two tides a day,

sculpted like statues, left town in their prime.

The doctor brother returned to build homes,

the recovering teacher now fishes the sea.


The stenos, hairdressers, building inspectors

now all snuggle into the arms of the village.

People who married, those who traveled abroad

nestle into the homesteads built by their fathers.


Some born in the town migrate south in the winter,

reappear with songbirds early in spring.

The city-based clerk breathes deep of Maine air

as she crosses the Kittery bridge heading North.


Up on the hill among all the gravestones

lie the man shot dead in a place far from home

and a faraway baby who lived only a day.

Aunt Emma says, as she picks up a stitch,


“Our folks, they all come back in the end.”



Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2008 by Sarah Jane Woolf-Wade. Reprinted from Down the Bristol Road, Snow Drift Press, 2008, by permission of Sarah Jane Woolf-Wade. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to David Turner, Special Assistant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at poetlaureate@mainewriters.org or 207-228-8263.

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