Ham’s Brook

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Walking along a trail the other evening, we saw this plaque, attached to a boulder adjacent to a picturesque brook. The phrase “Trickling down from the Old Ham Farm” played over and over in my mind, sparking thoughts not only about the brook, but also about the Ham family line and about the intertwined history of brook and family.

Trickling Down

Everett and Vivian’s
old homestead remains,
populated with their progeny,
a landmark imprinted
in the county’s
geographic lexicon.
“Turn right just past the Old Ham Farm,”
the locals might say.

Ham’s Brook
still trickles down
from the farm on the hill,
swirls into the Sabbatus River
and ripples in the rapids,
rushing over and around
slabs of granite ledge
and waterfalling
over moss-strewn boulders.

Through the years
the farmhouse children,
Lucy and Rufus,
Harriet and Stephen,
followed the brook
from hilltop to river valley,
stirring the carpet of leaves,
slipping on moss,
dipping toes into icy brook water,
foraging for frog eggs,
and flipping over rocks and logs
to locate shy salamanders,
skipping through a childhood
rooted in the earth
of the farm,
discovering treasures
that abound by a brook
deep in the Maine woods.

Today, Ham’s Brook
still trickles down
inviting you
to slip into the shadows
between trees
to explore its tumbling length,
to ramble over its rocks
and to search for its source…

I imagine it springs
from deep beneath
the Old Ham Farm
and ebbs
and swells
through seasons and time,
coursing
through the landscape
like a pulse.

Molly Hogan (c) 2016

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Ham’s Brook, Lisbon, Maine

To enjoy more poetry, head to the Poetry Friday Roundup at Jama’s Alphabet Soup. You’re sure to be inspired!

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13 thoughts on “Ham’s Brook

  1. Beautiful, Molly! I love “skipping through a childhood/rooted in the earth…” Although I didn’t grow up on a farm, there was a brook nearby where I loved to play. Thanks for bringing those happy memories to mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember a stream where I grew up, and each spring I would look for tadpoles, and check on their leg length day by day. Then one day they were gone. Hopped away.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy says:

    Thank you for allowing me to get lost in the serenity of Ham’s Brook. I too remember finding treasures in a small creek we would frequent every summer. It provided hours of amusement for the little ones and an atmosphere of relaxation for the adults. Beautifully written, Molly.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. cbhanek says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey! I love the way the plaque inspired so many ideas, images, and imaginings that trickled down and bubbled up–a wonderful Earth Day celebration of interconnected life that you have drawn us into so masterfully. God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jama says:

    Beautiful poem. Love how you meandered back through time, giving us a sense of the transitoriness of human life set against the eternal aspect of nature. Also a lovely reflection on living in concert with the natural world.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. maryleehahn says:

    I love that middle stanza so much. It is like the brook itself — it even sounds like burbling water with all those beginning-of-the-line rhymes.

    Like

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