Monday, April 8, 2013

Senator Wetmore's "Going Fishing" Finalist in Millers River Watershed Council Poetry Contest

 Senator Wetmore's "Going Fishing" Finalist in Millers River Watershed Council Poetry Contest
MA State Senator Robert D. Wetmore (retired D- Barre) read his auto-biographical poem, "Going Fishing" at the Millers River Watershed Council 2013 Poetry Night on April 5th. 
Wetmore is the author of the "Environmental Bill of Rights," an amendment to the Massachusetts State Constitution. The Environmental Bill of Rights, which was enacted in the 1970s, became the legal basis of the environmental legislation that followed.  Wetmore is also the author of the Massachusetts APR (Agricultural Protection Act).
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Going Fishing
by Robert D. Wetmore

The milk train ran
Through Gardner
Past South Royalston
Headed west to Athol
Echoes of my past
As a teen I’d ride my bike
But in the summers
Getting up at dawn
I’d walk to the train station
Platform in Gardner
Where you paid a nickel
For the men’s room
I’d wait for the milk train
A book bag stuffed with a can
Of worms, fishing gear
Sandwich and canteen
Slung over my shoulder
Waiting for the train
Waiting to go fishing
All aboard seated
A window’s view
Chugging past woods
Crossing the Otter River
To the South Royalston
Depot I’d disembark
At a stone’s throw
From the Millers River Dam
Rapid waters cool pools
Wooded tannin stained
Clouded from the Northern
Reaches of headwaters
Fish pole and bait I’d wait
For a nibble then walk
Along the rail road track
Sun beating down as I searched
For the perfect spot

Drafted in my twenties
Boated to South Korea
With army backpack
Boarded trains then back
Home again I grabbed
My pole and fishing gear
Rode in my brother’s
Borrowed car back
To the South Royalston
Fishing spots now
Choked with pollution
Run-off from paper mills

Then and there I changed
Got into politics
So the rivers might flow
Clean and pure and the fish
Might be worth fishing for

PHOTO CREDIT: Genevieve Fraser

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