June 22, 2018
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On Eagle-Watched Shores

By Frances Drabick, Special to the BDN

No debris. No bodies. Not yet. Fishermen
on and near the bite of raw water, Down East
harvesters of deep and shallow sea, or
raking in low tides; they are not a passing
tale or lore of days gone by, but today’s men
filling grocery sea-shelves as scallop
dragger sinks along with all men aboard;
so close to rockweed, eagle-watched shores charted
near the Black River’s flow to Fundy or
a descent in Cobscook Bay’s ice-water
as sister-towns Eastport, Lubec mourn with
kin Campobello, Deer Island, Grand Manan;
two more, four more, six more; eight more; too many
overdue for supper from back then to today.

Stranded at the threshold between you and
them, below the brink of “almost made it”
they rest confined in their hull of clothes – we
weep and the fishermen do not return
home to communities who look for a
boat called The Whole Family – Bottom Basher,
Miss Priss, All American, that sends the
message from below in debris and fishing
crates that break the surface. Sometimes it’s him
floating alone with no tale to tell of
the others; of good men dragging hard wares,
against hard rocky sea beds, busted apart
hard as weighty engines take her down too fast.


Frances Drabick of Eastport wrote this poem in support for plans to raise a Lubec Memorial for fishermen who have lost their lives to the sea.

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