A few poems Maine Gov. Janet Mills wrote over the years

Maine’s Democratic Gov. Janet Mills said poems “elevate our soul.” Here are a few that she has written over the years:

“For My Granddaughter” (2016)

Men running for office

Bellow about the future,

Punch the air,

Wave their arms,

Yell on the tv.

While in the delivery room,

It is the fist you notice first,

The quiet fingerlets

That cling to one another

With invisible strength

Clutching their own new skin,

forming a circle

Only she understands.

Then the face, wrinkly,

The little body,

A sturdy belly,

knees and feet

in miniature.

Eyes and ears

Ready to know

Everything that is new,

Everything that is.

A brain ready

To learn,

A heart ready

To love.

That is your god

Warming your own heart,

That is your god

holding your hand

So tight,

Never letting you


“Every government

Ought to have

A Department of the Future,”

Kurt Vonnegut said.

And here, she is.

Clenching all our


“For Stan” (2015)

There are things I have seen I cannot explain –

The way a child cries and laughs

At things only it knows.

The way autumn always brings

the smell of fries and donuts, musty hay,

the baying of old animals, the carnies and barkers,

the crowd in the grandstand shouting with a single voice,

the chill of a new wind.

The way spring brings everything back we’ve

Sheltered all the long dark days—

Grass in the field,

water in the stream,

hope in the heart.

And the way a dying person sometimes

has one last good day.

Our friend Harry had one last good day.

In deep coma, it was the end, they said,

as they pulled the tubes,

and he awoke with a smile.

And when you and I went to say goodbye,

He was having the best party,

Telling such stories with his

Firefighter friends, his wife, his neighbors,

Before he died.

There are other things,

Like red lights in the sky

That twice appeared when I was on

An old road on a dark night.

Like the music we heard at the lake

That came from swift bats, tall trees,

naked loons at dusk.

Like the man lost three days in deep woods,

given up for dead, who

Walked out, following the river

To the trail.

Like the time I found you, love,

and two lives changed.

Like you, when we came to say goodbye.

Laughing like lightning,

You knew us, you saw us, you held us,

And thanked us, every one,

knowing it was the end.

And like me now

holding in my hands

your old smile,

missing that music,


following the river

to another trail.


“This Fussy Fatality” (from “Balancing Act: A Book of Poems by Ten Maine Women,” 1975)

This fussy fatality I have found must

belong to some god-like dog-day dreamer

who, falling under the frequency of

the full moon, forgets us,

blinded by forgeries of the past,

his eyes two telescopes of time turned inward.

Pink and scarlet of dusk’s purgatorial

keeps us in-and-out, flame-bent for

purposes priceless and unfathomed.

We return from forms of perfect mind

to under zero, acknowledging the

conditions of the day,

harboring in undergarments our wares

preserved with secret sacrifice.

Logic makes checker squares on all that’s touched

feigning bravado from every face I see;

yet from the crevice of all eyes

come these spiralling scarlet circles,

mad-apple crimson.

“So What” (from Island Journal, 2021)

You are Miles Davis

disinterred, a Hamlet

of Hypothermia,

Part Faberge cloud,

One piece of sky,

a little amputation of eagle

Hiding strong wide wings,

wild offspring of Canada,

queen of camouflage,

perched like a coyote

waiting for dark.

Cynical archangel,

Singing soundless

hymns to an ancient heart,

what memories, fears,

loves and retributions

do you inspire?

Something too long absent,

someone saying

“I have always known you

And know you still,”

eyes promising

never to leave you.

Your talons clutch

a branch that is

my former soul.

I say, I am Kind of Blue

like that sea of yours.

You smile

As if you have just

Devoured a crow

somewhere In Labrador.

So What

Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up