Marblehead Lighthouse, Marblehead, Ohio.


By Kerry Trautman

Inspired by Marblehead Lighthouse, Marblehead, Ohio.

The lighthouse lamp is dark,
and the caretaker’s shack — their insides locked,

shuttered from thunder, mayflies,
and the always always

wind. Young, I was willing to teeter on slick seaweedy
boulders, calf-deep

in the cold, Lake Erie side of the waves—
not the calm Sandusky Bay

side of childhood, of railway howls,
of Grandpa’s coal-dock towers,

of perch fishing off
Uncle Tom’s Lyman. I knew the water dropped off

deep somewhere, hard with earth’s cold
minerals. Kelly’s Island

on the horizon, with its snakes.
Canada beyond, with caribou and glaciers.

Older now, I would be willing to abandon
my inland

everything, for a post-war bungalow where
families summered away

from the bottle factory, shipyard
and schoolhouse. I would plant a peach orchard,

stitch a kite, allow constant wind and gulls to weave
through my clapboards, gust me

with wet sand and walleye, and wait for
the light to be restored.

Kerry Trautman

Kerry Trautman’s poetry and short fiction have appeared in various journals, including The Fourth River, Alimentum, Midwestern Gothic, Third Wednesday, and Think Journal, as well as in anthologies such as Mourning Sickness (Omniarts, 2008,) Roll (Telling Our Stories Press, 2012,) and Journey to Crone (Chuffed Buff Books, 2013.)  Her chapbook, To Have Hoped, is available from Finishing Line Press. Her chapbook, Artifacts, is forthcoming in 2017 from NightBallet Press. Visit Kerry at Kerry Trautman

Featured image courtesy Benny Manzur / CC

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