This week’s poem is about departure. In Gretchen Berg’s unrhymed sonnet, with its vivid imagery of light and darkness in transition, she reflects on going away as both an act and an inheritance.

Berg is a Portland-based performance artist and educator who works often in Maine schools and colleges as a teaching artist.

Poets, please note that submissions to Deep Water are open through the end of the year. Deep Water is especially eager to share poems by Black writers, writers of color, indigenous writers, and other underrepresented voices. You’ll find a link to submit in the credits below.



By Gretchen Berg


As I drank beer on the porch looking west

the bronze light beat the dark, filled my heart

and my field with foreseeable beauty

again. And again I felt lucky to

breathe in lilac rich air, pick blueberries,

find puffballs, hear beavers chew popple.

But then I just knew. There said it out loud

in Eden at dusk I have got to get

out of here. A teen with a truck helped me

pack up and leave. Ten years before, after

Meg finished dinner and my Latin

homework, she walked away kicking streetlight

poles. I stood in the suburban dark watching

lights turn off one by one as she left me.


Megan Grumbling is a poet and writer who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. “Leaving,” copyright © 2019 by Gretchen Berg, appears by permission of the author. Submissions to Deep Water are open now and through the end of the year. For more information, go to

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