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Spring Tide

When we came home, the sea said, “Wait.”
We waited.
That’s the way it is here;
sometimes the wind says, “Shiver,”
and we shiver;
sometimes I make a shopping list,
but if the snow says, “Stay,”
we clean the cupboard and make soup.
When we came home, and found the tide
over the road and into the alders,
I didn’t mind. The water rose quietly,
and when it ebbed and we passed,
we went quietly.
That’s the way it is here, sometimes,
and then we remember that it is no small
thing,
to live in a holy place.

Nancy L. Nielsen (1930-2016) was a poet, educator, and environmentalist whose poems reflect her deep love of nature and Downeast Maine. She co-founded the Quoddy Regional Land Trust (now Downeast Coastal Conservancy) and played a key role in many land protection projects in the Cobscook Bay region.


This piece is part of Voices from the Coast, a collection of writing, art, stories, and images offered in celebration of the Maine coast and launched in 2020, Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s 50th year.

See more voices from the coast 

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