Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts

Poetry Contest Winners :: Twenty-fifth Contest :: Second Place Winner


To My Mother

by Erica L. Bartlett
It was your favorite place,
majestic Katahdin in the north,
and its surrounding land
anchoring the mountain’s glory,
a place we returned
every year,
and you could view the land
from the height of eagles.
We gave it a part of you,
but I think your spirit
was already there,
a home long since chosen.
Everything about it drew you.
The stunning and sometimes harsh
beauty of the land;
the pervasive sense of peace,
inherent in every river, stone, breath of wind,
star, tree, flower,
not obscured by human hand;
the animals —
the liquid grace of deer,
the endearing ungainliness of moose,
the chiaroscuro beauty of loons
with their haunted calls,
the squirrels and chipmunks,
bear, fox, raccoon, owl, eagle,
others too numerous to name.
When I think of you
wishing you were here,
wishing you could meet
new people in my life,
I think of Katahdin
and am comforted.
It holds you still,
the best of you,
forever and unchanging.
Those who never met you
can still get a sense of you
by following your determined steps
to the top.
It has become
a journey of remembrance,
of love and memory and dream,
so that every year returning,
I can take it all in,
listen to wind and water and loon,
drown in an exuberance of color,
root myself in stone
millions of years old —
and know that you are always here.

About the Author
Erica L. Bartlett is an author who has been published in magazines, keeps a weekly blog about her thoughts related to food and weight issues, and has recently published her memoir, "Winning the Losing Battle: A True Story of Weight Loss and Transformation." Mt. Katahdin is central to the memoir, as well as the poem "To My Mother." To learn more, visit her website, www.rediscoveringfoodmaine.com.
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