BAR HARBOR — A poem inspired by and titled “Cadillac Mountain” is part of a new collection by North Carolina poet Terri Kirby Erickson.
The collection, “A Sun Inside My Chest,” will be published Oct. 8 by Press 53. It is the sixth book by Erickson, who has won numerous awards for her poetry including the Atlanta Review International Publication Prize and the Nautilus Book Silver Award.
She told the Islander she visited “gorgeous Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park” a few years ago and that her Cadillac Mountain poem “reflects that magical experience.”
By Terri Kirby Erickson
Far above the rocky shores of Mount Desert Island,
we stand on Cadillac Mountain — the sea below us
bluer than the bluest sky — with smaller islands rising
from the water like whales breaching the surface
to breathe. The morning sun heats our heads and faces,
but the air is brisk and the wind blows in rhythmic
gusts as if this mountain is a ship sailing into a storm.
Children clamor over the stones, the sounds of their
laughter blown like silt that settles among the green
alder and goldenrod, flat-topped asters and sheep laurel.
In a land carved by glaciers, people are as transient
as butterflies. Yet, we leave behind stories and songs
and poems for others to find — the miracle of our lives
like sails furling and unfurling, while rocks go on and
on, puncturing the soil and piercing this radiant sea.