Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine poet laureate

This week Candice Stover of Mount Desert Island writes in praise of a favorite Maine pond.


By Candice Stover

Not that it knows my name

or that I call it

any name at all —

pond, refuge, sanity, little jewel …

Not that it knows I approach it

summer mornings

like a lover

I undress for without hesitating —

sandals on the bank,

towel draping the branches,

welcoming even the sharp stones

it passes over

like certain betrayals …

how I lie on my side and let

the cool of its skin

brush my cheek, float

my body, this surface

where the loon also learns

how to cry for its species

and where stems of bladderwort rise

above the ugliness

of our name for it:

those delicate carnivores

I am not afraid to swim near

with their beautiful open mouths.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2007 Candice Stover. Reprinted from “Poems from the Pond,” Deerbrook Editions, 2007, by permission of Candice Stover. Questions about Take Heart, which is no longer accepting submissions, may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc at [email protected]