B, B, B…by Karla Linn Merrifield

 
B, B, B…

“There is no feeling more pleasant, no drug more addictive,
than setting foot on virgin soil.” – E.O. Wilson

In the alphabet of my Maritimes summer,
I’m preoccupied with B.

It’s the bunchberries’ fault.
Their scentless ivory blossoms

bewitch me with pale, cruciform petals
above a cross of leaves,

the cardinal points
of my estival compass

this journey north and east where
B leads not to C but to another:

the Bog. The bog’s beckoning
bunches-of-berries-to-be

in August seduce me to slog;
sink both feet into peat-moss,

a brown befuddlement up to my shins,
breathing bog, pure bog.

Breathing dwarf larch and orchids,
and lichen, odorless, clean.

I’m baffled I can step away, venture
beyond the subtle beauty of the bog, but

I do.
A bay beckons,

a blue bay
of blue whales.

The biggest beast this blue globe
has ever known knows me.

Baleine bleu beguiles
with the greatest breath.

***

the Bs of New Brunswick and Bay of Fundy
behind me. I make it to

the Bay of Gaspé;
I reach land’s end; I plunge—

because of the bunchberries,
the bog, the bay, the one true blue whale.

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