Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: After the Splash

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

Today’s poem, by Leslie Moore of Brooksville, is set in Smith Cove. Leslie writes that her poem tells a “fishing story that’s true.”

After the Splash by Leslie Moore

We step to the porch railing—
wine glasses in hand, Scrabble forgotten—
to spy a bird floundering in the cove,
dashing the sea with great, feathered
downbeats, almost obscured by the spray.
It’s a bald eagle and my heart thrashes with it.
I’m ready to canoe to the rescue,
my husband paddling, me leaning
over the bow, poised to pluck a frantic,
flapping, full-grown eagle out of the sea
in my bare arms. Its wing span is wider
than I am tall, its beak a scimitar.
But the bald eagle doesn’t need me.
It settles onto the water, plump as a duck,
turns beak to shore, scoops the sea with
feathery palms, and climbs out on a rocky
shelf, dragging in one talon a fish,
huge and silvery in the sunlight.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2014 Leslie Moore. Reprinted by permission of Leslie Moore. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at mainepoetlaureate@gmail.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.