baked in Oven Sun,
I will run away with you
when you are done
and eat you in Night’s closet
and taste your sugared stars
upon my tongue.
Wind Dance, 1999, Scholastic Canada
Eating Between the Lines, 1998, Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance
A cookie company advertised a poetry contest. The winner would receive a carton of cookies. My two sons said, “Go for it, Mom!” “A giant cookie baked in Oven Sun,” I thought. “A cookie company would like the taste of this poem with its metaphors cookie moon, night closet, oven sun, and sugar stars.”I sent it off. Alas, I did not win, I received a poem out of it and my sons got cookies from their mom.
cracked in the pan
of Heaven –
its orange yolk,
in the dark
we wake up
Setting: Round Pond, Allagash Wilderness Waterway, 1964.
My dad, my younger brother and I were guests at the Jalbert Fishing Camps at Round Pond on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in northern Maine. It was September, 1964. The Old Guide and his son Willard Jalbert had poled and paddled us 32 miles up-river from the town of Allagash to the camp.
One evening during our stay, the Old Guide announced that he would take us to a fishing hole the next morning where we would find a good supply of brook trout. He would wake us early because the fish would be biting early. His son turned to us and whispered, “He has a competitor and wants to beat him to the spot.” We said good-night and went off to our cabin for a good night’s sleep.
Long before day when the sky was still bold with stars, Willard’s voice came through our cabin door. “It’s time to get up.” As we rose, we could smell coffee and bacon and hear the Old Guide making breakfast. My dad was laughing, “The Old Guide wants to be the first to the hole.”
As we made our way to the main cabin, I looked up to see the night sky – the moon, the thin clouds, and stars sprinkled across the heavens. This is what inspired the poem “Sky Breakfast.”
Did we beat the Old Guide’s competitor? Yes, but it was close. We could hear him in the nearing sound of his boat’s motor. The Old Guide headed straight for the hole, looking neither right nor left nor behind until we had our lines in the water. The other guide with boat and party turned and was off to find another spot for early morning trout.