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Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: On Wanting Only One Thing
Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate
In today’s poem Rachel Flynn of Gorham combines a description of a merganser on a lake with a commentary about persistence.
On Wanting Only One Thing by Rachel Contreni Flynn
for PatrickThis morning the hooded merganser appears lazy on the lake, puckered feet tucked beneath her rump so she’s just coasting, just carving with the cargo of her bodya sloppy channel through snake grass, silent as a handbag. The merganser pays no attention to kites swooping in the spruce, loons keening in the coves, or cormorantsairing their wings on the shore. The merganser never swivels her head for sleep or grief or even grooming, so it seems she might be stupid or nearly dead. But then, at the bright twistof fin beneath her, her soul becomes a syringe. She unhinges her joints into sleek steel, plunges through cold water, small heart soaring, mind clenched behind hopeful, topaz eyes.
Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2005 Rachel Contreni Flynn. Reprinted from Ice, Mouth, Song, Tupelo Press, 2005, by permission of Rachel Contreni Flynn. Questions about Take Heart, which is no longer accepting submissions, may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.