In Acadia we took a mail boat
to an island way out into the Atlantic.
The sand was rutted with lobster buoys,
radiant with light and pink salt drying
turquoise fishnets tangled on the rocks,
and barnacles, pearly beads on frayed wire.
We hiked the knotted lines
of twisted pines and berries.
Want to see something beautiful?
the ranger asked. We trudged through
the swamp in the center of the island.
Picking sundews and wild pink orchids,
and pressing our feet in the half-damp,
half-dry sea mosses, we felt in the earthy dark
a tangle of fibers, the clumps of roots
beneath the ferns—the burnished veins,
and beneath swaying beards of white moss,
The Bleeding Heart of the island leapt up,
hunched and beating in the sand.
Copyright © 2016 by Megan Gieske. Originally published in Ursa Literary Review formerly Stolen Island Literary Review on May 10, 2016, by the National Poetry Foundation through The University of Maine.