Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine poet laureate.

Marcia Brown, the former poet laureate of Portland, writes that even though we may lament we can’t preserve moments in time, “the poem in a sense does just that.”

Freeze Frame

By Marcia F. Brown

Camera, tripod, satchel of gear

shouldered under dry branches,

you are headed out to take a picture

of the loon we think

will winter over on the salt pond.

In the upstairs window, pen in hand,

I am framing this picture of you

intent on your mission: green shirt,

gray vest in the mottled light

of Indian summer.

Beloved, you walk as much with this world

as the deer. How do I say

how the hay-gold grasses

bend to you? How the split rails

draw you to their vanishing point,

beyond which, a bird—wild

and ancient—sends up

its hollow, fluted cry

and how for one moment, I long

to know a distant song,

something I can sing

to hold you there.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2010 Marcia F. Brown. Reprinted from “What on Earth,” Moon Pie Press, 2010, by permission of Marcia F. Brown. Comments about the column may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc at [email protected] or 228-8263.