By Annie Finch 

and then I felt a yearning

to stare out at the sea –

or simply at the stretching sand –

the waters restlessly



beating with their own chaos in,

as fall’s late wind blew cold

and spoke in whispers at my ear

that I was growing old –



days were growing shorter,

I was growing too,

and soon there would be nothing more

than words that I might rue.


And then I went and folded in


upon myself, and found

in my dark folds a small white shell,

and put it on the ground.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2012 Annie Finch. Reprinted from “The Voice Was the Sea,” The Center for the Study of Place, Inc., 2012, by permission of Annie Finch. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, special consultant to the Maine poet laureate, at or 207-228-8263. “Take Heart: Poems from Maine,” an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.Take Heart is proudly sponsored by …

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