(Author’s Note: I am honored to reprint, with permission from the author, the following poem by Wess Connally. Wess originally wrote and shared this with our local community last year at memorial services on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. He owns the Books, Lines and Thinkers book store on Main Street, Rangeley.)
—by Wess Connally
You were husbands and wives.
You were mothers and fathers.
You were sons and daughters.
You were grandparents.
You were grandchildren.
You were aunts and uncles,
nieces and nephews and cousins.
You were our brothers,
and you were our sisters.
And I wish you could have been here that morning.
It was a beautiful morning in these old, old mountains.
I remember the sky that morning.
It was a liquid blue.
It looked as though you could fill a glass with it,
then drink it down.
And if you did you would live forever.
It was that full of promise.
I remember the air that morning;
crisp, as though autumn had arrived overnight.
And, indeed, as if to prove the point,
some of the maple leaves had already gone bright red;
the wild apples, too,
hanging heavy from their wild branches.
If you picked one and ate it,
you would live forever.
I remember the birds that morning;
chickadees and nuthatches,
busy with their harvesting of insects
from the wild branches of fir and birch,
conversing all the while.
And if you understood their language,
they would tell you all the secrets of life.
And I remember having the morning free,
and pulling on an old sweater,
and sitting outside in the Adirondack, reading,
the sun warm at my back.
I wish you would have been with me that morning.
And I wish you were here now,
all of you, with all of us,
sitting in the warm sunlight,
in the beauty and peace of these old, old mountains.
I wish you would have been here that morning.
For my related “Rooted In Rangeley” posts, see: