Featured Poet: Scott T. Hutchison, Gilford
Named New England Poet of the Year for 2001 by the New England Association of Teachers of English, Scott started and served as Director for the New Hampshire Young Writers' Conference until this past year. He is a member of the rotating faculty of the New England Young Writers' Conference. Has taught English and Creative Writing at Gilford High School since 1987.
About his featured poem, Scott writes:
After reading a story about the actual Fisherville (which came together in Wolfeboro) in the local newspaper, I knew that it was a story-and a poem-important to New Hampshire. Sitting down to write, it felt like I could see all of those wonderful people and their bob house village out on the ice of the Big Lake.
--Incorporated Nov. 1940,
melted April 1941
Three dozen bob houses anchored on the ice
of Lake Winnepausakee. My grandfather said ownership
was but the invention of laughing minds, it appeared
on signs above the doors: "Municipal Court,"
"Town Hall," "City Newspaper," "Jail." For himself,
he'd stuffed the ballotbox, rose to "mayor"--everybody
knew, but that was Fisherville. I asked him if the war
came to that town. He eyed me, smiled, began by saying
the ice was 16 inches thick, men of the old guard with time
and patience had no problems traveling. I watched his hands
widen the air, measuring off a salmon that fed twelve
good fellows. He said talking still made his lungs ache--
an old dosing of mustard gas; he carried splinters in his palms
from exploding trees while performing his duty in the Argonne Forest.
He wanted to tell me that was his war, WWI, the "Great One"--
coughed instead, smiled. The world on the bank said he
and his boys were living a grand fisherman's joke. Gramps
instructed me to put emphasis on the first word in "real estate,"
he dipped fingers into his drink--I held out my hand,
grasped the ice cube he put there, in spite of the cold pain,
until he finished speaking. When the town of Fisherville died,
sunshine and warm weather were the only ones held accountable.
But before that: his first duty as mayor was to order the flag
at half-mast for Bill Randolph's boy. My grandfather died
soon after, wanting to provide me with insights on the Argonne,
about war, to the men of Fisherville. I was awarded the flag
from his coffin. And ever since the ice cube melted while he spoke,
I've been trying to tell people it's a simple thing for hands
to lie to the mind about their pain, I remember him saying
that bob houses were slid around every day, seizing
whatever new territory best captured the sun; Winnipesaukee
and the sky had room for them all in '41. Nowadays, each April--
Easter Sunday--a few people gather to recall Fisherville.
Sometimes they row out, sit in boats to tell their parables;
every few years ice-out hasn't come, and people snowshoe
to the spot. I took my boys out there this past Spring.
They asked if that's where he died. I held their hands,
smiled. I told them. It's where he walked on water.
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