Wind off the Strait of Belle Isle rakes
the cape clean. Anything wanting to live here
finds it enjoys crouching in a still pocket
behind a rock (eight months of the year
a white drift) where once in a while a companion
will tumble in: an ant's leg or cinquefoil leaf.
Just arrived is a scuffed mountain avens seed,
which in the next rain might burst its seams and
help pack the small summer room with green, except
for the week in July when it will parody snow.
Leif Eriksson dropped the erratic fact
of his briefly inhabited outpost here,
and now the fascination of tourists gusts
over the ancient site, their exclamations
and money tumble into the shadow it casts
along Route 436, feeding a clump
of restaurants, gift shops, B&Bs, new
bright-painted homes. The local people want
more boulders like L'Anse aux Meadows, more
nooks where money drifts in, especially now
that the Strait is raked clean of cod.
Copyright © 2010 by John Steffler