Many people every day try to cross the southern U.S. border to safety and better lives. Today’s poem, Rhea Côté Robbins’s “Canada Road,” concerns Maine’s own international border and immigration history. I love this how this poem’s momentum moves forward as if along a course or route, then is constricted through short lines and jagged lineation – much like a person’s own obstructed or difficult passage.

Rhea Côté Robbins was brought up bilingually in a Franco-American neighborhood in Waterville known as the South End. She is the author of the creative nonfiction memoir “Wednesday’s Child,” winner of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance Chapbook Award, and she is the editor of “Canuck and Other Stories,” an anthology of translations of early 20th century Franco-American women writers who wrote about their immigration experience. She lives in South Brewer.

Canada Road
By Rhea Côté Robbins

Canada Road

en anglais

blocked view

of French

Québec entry

millions upon millions

hidden in the landscape

stopped at the border

   by the exit entry policy

of name changes

English Only

attempts to



before it




across the



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. “Canada Road”
© 2021 by Rhea Côté Robbins, appears by permission of the author.

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