Maine power outages, troop greeters prompt reflections in verse

It seems ice and holidays get people thinking in verse. Over the last couple weeks, several people have sent in poems they wished to share. Two are included below.

The first poem came from Stacey Morneault of Orrington who said her 16-year-old son, Josh Morneault, wrote it for her for Christmas.

Ice storm poem
Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the rooms,
All the Morneault’s were sweeping and swirling their brooms.
The stockings weren’t hung yet, and the stairs were quite bare,
Everyone was so stressed, they ripped out their hair.

Coco was nestled, quite snug in her bed,
While visions of milk-bone treats, danced in her head.
Mom in an apron, and Dad in his gloves,
Were running the water to fill up the tubs.

When down from the road there arose such a clatter,
We ran to the porch to see what was the matter.
A cable came loose from the pole with a flash,
As we lost all our power, it fell with a crash.

We ran to the pole, on the ground it lay flat,
When a man dressed in red walked out, jolly and fat.
“Ho, ho, ho!” He said, smiling with glee,
“I guess I should have looked out for that tree!”

“We’re out of power!” They said, in despair,
“It’s okay, Mom and Dad, that’s Saint Nicholas, there!”
So we brought him in and gave him a drink,
We boiled the snow, as we couldn’t use the sink.

“Thank you kind people!” Saint Nick said with joy.
“And in return for your niceness, I’ll give you this toy!”
He turned around swiftly, and as we faced his back,
He pulled out a generator from inside his sack!

“Oh thank you, Saint Nick!” I cried out with joy,
He turned to me and said, “Call me Santa, dear boy!”
And with that remark, he touched his finger to his nose,
Got into his sled, into the stars he arose.

And that was the story of that fateful night,
Of how we lost power, and lit candles for light.
Now on Christmas day, with that old-motor here,
All of the Morneault’s will have power this year.

The second came from Naomi Morse who makes her home in Silver Spring, Md., but spent time at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts on Deer Isle last summer. She flew in and out of Bangor International Airport and was inspired to write this poem about the Maine Troop Greeters. She mentioned she was snowed in today — a perfect time to reflect and write.

Therapy dog, Bangor International Airport, Maine
“The Troop Greeters of Bangor Maine send off and welcome every serviceman, rain or shine.”

Men and women in army fatigues camouflage the airport — desert tan, brown, grey,
like the sand, rock and dust they are destined for — Afghanistan, Iraq.

Young soldiers are pacing, standing, seated on the floor,
heads bent over their cell phones.
They are talking, texting goodbye.
They are in groups, and alone.

Graying veterans in vests thick with ribbons stand among the soldiers.
They are shaking hands, giving one-armed hugs, wishing good luck.
Stand-ins for mom and dad in Texas, Ohio, Kentucky.
One holds the end of a long leash, offering the comfort of fur.

A large, calm dog stands firm, looks straight out at the troops.
A soldier kneels nearby, reaches out and runs his hand over the blond coat.
Slowly, slowly, he smooths back the fur on the well formed skull.
Slowly, he sculpts it again.The dog closes his eyes with pleasure.

He is almost smiling.
The soldier remains there, kneeling.

It’s a dog,
not God,
but, for now, as close as he’ll come.


Erin Rhoda

About Erin Rhoda

Erin Rhoda is editor of Maine Focus, a journalism and community engagement initiative by the Bangor Daily News.