As we build
And repair the harbor
I see your hand
It comes up
From deep within
The sandy bottom
Axe mark
On wood piling
Pointed for
Holding piers for years
We pull you free
From salty water
Into the open air
I see the holes
You drilled
By hand
Sharp auger turning
With your will
Boring out the oak
For bolts
Now rusted
But still strong
I see your bit
Hand forged
And shaped to cut
By men
With names like
Norton and
How their skill helped
Your work
As these and other men
And women
Help us
Do ours
I see your mark
In stacked boulders
To the light
At the entrance
To this harbor
And in the few
Remaining hand hewn posts
Hinting at
The long gone
Bridge of Sighs
Where summer lovers
Kissed goodbye
I’ve seen your mark
Shoot up from
Harbor sand
Buried bottles from a shore
That bore the names
Like Jackson, Eldridge
Osborn, Fisher
Scallop shuckers
Tubtrawl baiters
Long ago

I see your marks
In secret spots
Sweet suggestions
Rough lives
Of strength and toil
Found in names like Pease and Schwartz, Colter, Goulart, Maury, Dietz
So many, many more
I see you in the points
Of spears
My men find
Along these spring fed
Laden shores
And here and there
The grasses and the land
Remain the same
As when you hunted
Fished and fed
For many years
Before we came
You let us share
The riches
of this place
With you
Now tonight
In this old church
As I stand here
In front of you
I look out and see
The marks of men
And women
Long gone by
I see them in
Your names
I see them in your faces
I feel them beating
In your hearts
As we make our marks
With names like Hargy
Smith or Morgan
Case, Belisle, Datz
I see their life in
All of us
I see those signs of you

— Steve Ewing, Edgartown Poet Laureate