A postcard of Pemaquid Point, ca. 1930–45.
Ira Sadoff’s poem “February: Pemaquid Point” appeared in our Winter–Spring 1980 issue. His most recent collection is True Faith (2012).
The lighthouse as an imageof loneliness has its limits.
For as we stand on the shoreof this ocean, crusted snow
On the hills and the grass dispersedbeneath it, that tower
seems a place where people gathersome vision themselves: the marriage
of rock to water, of wave to snailwashed up on shore. We’re small,
and waving to the lobster boat—which could be miles away of close
enough to raise our voices to—makesus wish our journeys took us further,
past witness, to a scene, perhaps,where we belonged. A man in blue
pulls up his net, tiny fishswim free from it. And the man
pulling anchor, whose strengthpulls him further from the shore,
pays tribute to our rootlessness.As he shouts to start the engine up,
To take his course, he leaves usIn the distance, the repeated ritual
Of his wake. And like the waterStirred against the lighthouse wall,
Breaking up, wave after wave, weForget ourselves. Learn our place.
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