Summer squash and snap-beans gushed all August, tomatoes in a steady splutter through September. But by October's last straggling days, almost everything in the garden was stripped, picked, decayed. A few dawdlers: some forgotten carrots, ornate with worm-trail tracery, parsley parched a patchy faded beige.
Wesley McNair is the Poet Laureate of Maine. His most recent books are The Words I Chose: A Memoir of Family and Poetry, and Lovers of the Lost: New & Selected Poems. McNair is currently Professor Emeritus and Writer in Residence at the University of Maine at Farmington, where he directed the creative writing program and received the Distinguished Faculty Award and the Libra Professorship.
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It's summer, 1956, in Maine, a camp resort on Belgrade Lakes, and I am cleaning fish, part of my job, along with luggage, firewood, Sunday ice cream, waking everyone by jogging around the island every morning swinging a rattle I hold in front of me to break the nightly spider threads. Adlai Stevenson is