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Celebrating 20 Years of the Western Mass. Writing Project

A Poem in Honor of WMWP's 20 Years:


The Wrack Line, by Lucile Burt

All along the edge,

each time you go there,

the ocean, restless as your mind,

has heaved up mysteries

from the depths.


Maybe you meander

wrack line to water line,

pick up, discard, one thing

then something else.

One false treasure

gives way to another.


Beside you the sea

heaves and settles.

You think of all

that is out there,

depths you can’t plumb.

Maybe your brother’s mind

is down there somewhere.


Sometimes, you move

toward something far off,

barely visible, not yet

resolved into a nameable thing.

Your mind tells stories:

Seal, dead or resting,

Seaweed.  Driftwood.

The jacket, lost in Portugal.

Your father’s fedora.


You hold back,

not wanting to come upon

a mangled seal or memory,

something better buried,

or worse, something

ordinary, not worth writing about,

unless at the last minute,

it becomes a metaphor.