Anne Strand is a writer from Maine, USA living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Her poems and short stories have been featured in journals including Montréal Writes, Sonora Review, Angel City Review, The Metaworker, and Westwind. Connect with Anne on twitter @annie_strannie.
Somewhere, in Maine
We used to walk across the
bridge, to the island.
We couldn’t drive yet
and in the space between the
blue water and the jagged tree line
we thought we could see the whole world
expanding out in front of us.
Some climbed the railing and jumped,
in the dark even.
I wanted to fly, too
but my feet wouldn’t lift from the concrete.
As dusk crept in I counted your new freckles.
Insect bites dotted our ankles,
the backs of our hands.
We maneuvered around the rocks
and I imagined days ahead,
hoping they will be forgiving
like the shoreline.
I was so enamored with the ocean’s beauty
though its barrier was rough,
leaving tiny scrapes on the soles of our feet—
soon to be winter’s faint reminder
of warmer days gone by.
Familiar Reflections in Dutch Mirrors
Somewhere over the Netherlands
we passed a windmill farm,
and from the plane they looked like
the tops of dandelions,
tiny pinwheels dancing in the sun.
Are you still writing? she asked.
We gathered on the third Thursday in November,
an unlikely group of outliers,
to relish the tartness of cranberries
and the warmth of spiced wine.
In German it means “glowing”
said a man with gentle eyes,
as he balanced a glass from which steam spiraled.
To her question, I offered an excuse about
my busy schedule, graduate school.
And as I cycled across the city later that night,
I conjured verses of the poems I’d left undone
from a decade prior—
musings from a distant autumn’s dawn,
a hazy history now,
when I first read the note etched on the studio wall,
warning of the stark passing of time
in a place like this.