Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine poet laureate.

Today’s poem, by Leslie Moore of Brooksville, is set in Smith Cove. Leslie writes that her poem tells a “fishing story that’s true.”

After the Splash

By Leslie Moore

We step to the porch railing—

wine glasses in hand, Scrabble forgotten—

to spy a bird floundering in the cove,

dashing the sea with great, feathered

downbeats, almost obscured by the spray.

It’s a bald eagle and my heart thrashes with it.

I’m ready to canoe to the rescue,

my husband paddling, me leaning

over the bow, poised to pluck a frantic,

flapping, full-grown eagle out of the sea

in my bare arms. Its wing span is wider

than I am tall, its beak a scimitar.

But the bald eagle doesn’t need me.

It settles onto the water, plump as a duck,

turns beak to shore, scoops the sea with

feathery palms, and climbs out on a rocky

shelf, dragging in one talon a fish,

huge and silvery in the sunlight.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2014 Leslie Moore. Reprinted by permission of Leslie Moore. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, special consultant to the Maine poet laureate, at [email protected] 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.

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