Where Are You Now?

This poem came first in the adult category in the 2017 poetry writing contest for the town of Sackville, New Brunswick.

The poem is set in the Tantramar Marshes, on the High Marsh Road and it refers to three poets who drew their inspiration from this area: Douglas Lochhead, John Thompson and Sir Charles G.D. Roberts.

In one of his poems, Lochhead described a girl leading her horse into and out of the covered bridge on the High Marsh Road while John Thompson wrote about the stars scraping at his door, wanting in while he watched the hockey game. Sir Charles God Damn wrote a moving remembrance of the marshes in his poem, Tantramar Revisited.

My poem is also about a memory that the marshes stirred in me:

Where are you now?

I am here on the High Marsh Road

Where Douglas Lochhead walked

and dreamed with flying birds

and watched that girl

teaching her horse to limp

into and out of 

the darkness of the covered bridge.

Troubled John Thompson thought he heard the stars

scraping at his door, wanting in

while he watched the hockey game

in Jolicure, not far from here.

And Sir Charles God Damn,

remembered the marsh winds singing all day

through the chinks in the hay barns

as the fish nets hung and

swayed in the streaks of sunlight.

 Yes, here am I too, 

on the High Marsh Road

as Tantramar’s brown liquid curve

loops away to the sea.

I am remembering,

The blue-grey, cotton dress they laid you out in

As a hawk wheels high in the salt-scented air

Over the great, green, grassy earth.

I am remembering

And I am asking

Oh my darling,

Where are you now?