This week’s poem evokes the depths of winter in a Maine mill town.

Patricia Smith Ranzoni lives in Bucksport and was named poet laureate of the town in 2014. Her most recent book, “Still Mill” (North Country Press, 2017), documents the closing of the Verso paper mill through her own and other residents’ words.

From ‘Another Long’ (15.)

By Patricia Smith Ranzoni

These are the days of blankets over doorways.

These are the days of shutoff rooms.

These are the days of frost on wallpaper.

These are the days of sinkcupboards open to the stove.

These are the days of washbasins chilling faster than you’re done.

These are the days of using water again and again.

These are the days of trousers under skirts.

These are the days of throbbing toes and wearing boots inside.

These are the days of chapped hands in dough.

These are the days of mopwater freezing on the floor.

These are the days of not going out but for the animals, the well,

the woodpile, the sloppail and the mail.

These are the days of men dying in blizzards walking home

from work at the mill.

These are the days of accidents in the woods.

These are the days of nothing but working to keep warm.

These are the days of chimneys roaring for a family meal.

These are the days of children and old people going up in awful,

sorrowful smoke.

These are the days of tomorrow’s flaming lips.

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc is poet who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2017 Patricia Smith Ranzoni. It appears in “Still Mill: Poems, Stories & Songs of Making Paper in Bucksport, Maine 1930-2014” (North Country Press, 2017) and appears here by permission of the author. For an archive of all the poems that have appeared in this column, go to www.pressherald.com/tag/deep-water.

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