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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.

Wind Shadow, L'Anse aux Meadows

John Steffler

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