As a child, growing up on Banner Mountain, I began writing poetry and continued writing it in high school. I loved reading poetry and hearing my teachers discuss poets and their work. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would become a poet. And I certainly never thought that one day I would spend a night at the same Inn by the Sea where Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) had visited, where he had been inspired to write some of his masterpieces.
This lovely bed and breakfast–the Emerson Inn by the Sea–is where Ralph Waldo Emerson sometimes vacationed. The Inn has been renovated and the renovation left a portion of the original rooms where Emerson had stayed with his family. It was renamed Ralph Waldo Emerson after their most celebrated guest. Much of his inspiration, it is said, came from visiting this rocky coastline of Rockport, Massachusetts.
Rockport — A Place Beside the Sea
I visited this romantic place and stayed at this unique Emerson Inn by the Sea with my husband and part of our family a few years ago when we returned to New England to show our children where we had lived. My husband was stationed at Pease Air Force Base, Portsmouth, New Hampshire for three years. We lived in Kittery, Maine when our third child was born. What a treasure to revisit New England, see old friends, begin a new poem, and to set foot on the rocky coast where Emerson once found inspiration to write!
I am a bandit, so they say.
But that is not the case.
I wear this mask to hide my face
like the Lone Ranger once did
back when you were just a kid–
there is a reason my face is hid,
it is a secret, not a game I play.
I’ll not reveal it by night or day.
When my country’s flag is flying
and I’m standing at attention,
far below its waving glory–
blue and white and red, it’s waving
like it waved when Francis Scott Key
penned the Star Spangled Banner
–proud I am to be reciting
pledges to defend my country.
When and if the call comes for me,
will I sacrifice my freedom
for the freedom of all people?
Will I give my life for others?
Marines, airmen, sailors soldiers
in cold graves beneath white crosses,
traded lives for country, gave me
freedom now to live and worship.
How I love them how I thank them
for the blessings I now cherish,
given me because they died for
U.S.A., Beloved Country.
Help me live, teach me to fight for
duty, honor that they fought for.
Keep Old Glory up there waving,
high above my treasured Heartland,
U.S.A., Beloved Country.