In a short hop against convention, my wife
and I were married on a Friday the 13th. Today
a road trip to honor one. We drive to Belfast, two
hours north, to the Farmer’s Market. My wife’s
a large fan of fresh produce even in wintertime. We
meet a local farmer with twenty-three water buffalo.
I’m staggered by the number, more shocked by how
they survive. This isn’t India or Southeast Asia. She
assures me they have a warm barn, plenty to eat.
My wife buys milk for yogurt. The farmer tells us,
you’ll be amazed. I’m starting to feel the healthy
pull of the day. We travel route one to Rockland
for lunch, the warmth of an Irish cafe. Good food,
friendly staff generous with their time, tables fill
as people trundle in from the cold wind blowing
outside. From here we drive south to Wiscasset
to see a favorite shop owner who in short order
expresses her growing feelings about the election.
Every Friday thru the holidays she’s been donating
twenty per cent of her sales to five nonprofits that
will likely be battered under the new regime.
Her heart sings Cohen’s “Hallelujah" as we talk
of support for those things that separate thinking
folks from those who think chaos should reign.
Across the street in another store, a saleslady we’ve
never met senses our liberal lean. Running her hands
thru her thick blond-tinted hair, she talks of the march
in Washington and how important it is to be there—
she will “next Saturday.” Eyes water as she goes
on about rip and tear on what was once understood
as democracy too quickly becoming something
with another name from lessons never learned:
fascist, authoritarian, despotic and in these
difficult times we live, simply wrong.
Marc Swan’s poems have recently been published or forthcoming in Scrivener Creative Review, Crannóg, Mudfish, Gargoyle, Nuclear Impact Anthology, Coal City Review, among others. He lives with his wife Dd in Portland Maine.