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(Havre de Grace, Maryland)

Green saucer hills

swirl down to sheen

where the river scallops

the Bay. Lines of masts,

white gulls, Canada geese fence

the scene. Beyond those fence lines

mansions built on slave-cut sotweed

picket flat fields in westering light.

That other Havre

long since shed its Grace in waves

of desperate families fleeing swords

and murderous faiths.

Yet this retains the sobriquet.

From Huguenots to Syrians

the tides of refuge washed up here,

a bandbox town that simulated home.

Still migrants all

like those who came before

we reach with mute relief

this problematic shore.

Version first published in What Rough Beast July 23, 2019

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