Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Dog in Winter

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

Today?s sonnet, traditional in rhyme and experimental in meter, was written by Dawn Potter of Harmony. In it, she describes the hard-earned joys of her Maine homeplace.

Dog in Winter by Dawn Potter

Up the boggy headland, frozen now, where a stone fence
Submerged in snow and earth-sink hints at pasture
So long vanished that the woods are convinced
Grassland never existed, two bodies climb ? one fast,
Black, doe-agile; one slogging and foot-bound
Like a superannuated tortoise. Guess which is me.
Easy to badmouth my grace but oddly hard to expound
On the postcard beauties of our workaday scenery ?
Giant pines draped with frosting, wisp of chimney cloud
Threading skyward, and behind the frosted window
A glorious wall of books, lamp-lit; a dear bowed head.
In tales, common enchantment always merits less than woe,
       And perhaps I should collapse on the stoop like a starved Jane Eyre,
       Pleading heat and mercy. But I earn my joy. I mean, I live here.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2014 Dawn Potter. Reprinted from Same old story, CavanKerry Press, 2014, by permission of Dawn Potter. 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.