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Dear Friend,
In honor of April Poetry month, we are pleased to share the following poem with you, written by our own Maddy Vertenten.  We hope you enjoy it and that it brings back some of those shared memories.


Sticky pine and pot-black stained hands,
the stench of BO and bug spray 
interrupted by cool rain fresh wind off the bow.
Sweet exhaustion, shaky limbs - now fed,
finding sleep.

Whose home is this?
The nasty pine bug, the crooning loon,
First families still walking this land.
Solace for me, one tent site at a time.

Waking to the sunrise, something warm in my mug.
Preparing for a day’s journey over water until
the next soft spot is found for sleep.

Family is made over the fire.
We commune through shared meals 
after a day of paddling.

We know each other by the way we went 
- through
 -or around
- or in
- the last set of rapids.

On calmer waters there may be stories,
memories of past adventures,
always laughter, sometimes tears,
often, song.

Taking in the sunset from a not-so-special spot,
leaning into the shoulder of this moment’s companion.
It is nothing less than magic,
we know this:
the crumbling corner of the dock,
our occasional encounter

Despite what no one else knows -
this is emblazoned upon our memories

Maddy Vertenten, Vice-Chair

Board of Directors
Phoebe Knowles, Chair
Maddy Vertenten, Vice-Chair
Susannah Ross, Treasurer
William Porter, Secretary
Hardin Coleman, Director at Large
Christopher Foster
Jason Lewis 

John Moses
Louise Moses
William Nuckols
Kathryn Stauffer

Advisory Panel
Katherine Finnegan
Josephine Moore

Gail Coleman, Executive Director
Ben Simmons, Assistant Executive Director

Emeritus Circle
Libby Moore, in memoriam Founding Director & Chair

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Red Canoe Foundation | 608-469-4752 | gcoleman@redcanoefoundation.org

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