Crossing #4: Near Death in the Maritimes

What if the Princess of Acadia 
were a ferry across the River Styx?
The captain at his bridge your Charon?
And your voyage mythical? An allegory? Biblical?

What would do you with the three hours
it takes to journey from the living to the beyond,
as from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia? 
bustling Saint John to drowsy Digby?

Would you be one of the many who sleep,
coats pulled over their heads, shoes off, feet up,
stretched out along three or four seats,
on your way to the far, far shore?

Or are you going to be caught dead
listening to the provincial museum docent on board
discourse on local whales and aboriginal people?
Can you say Megaptera novaeanglieae and Mi’kmak in one breath?

Crossing the storied Bay of Fundy—
crossing over—will you be among the few
attentive to details, taking in the fact we sail 
over a primordial fault line of the underworld?

Or will you make the passage
on the open forward deck alone,
lost in the fog, your horizon foreshortened
to a featureless gray?

However you choose to pass the time,
you will be disgorged with the full complement
of 650 passengers, 27 tractor-trailers 
and 164 assorted cars into a Newe Lande.

When the behemoth 10,000 tonnes beast of steel
that is the Princess of Acadia comes into port,
she shall open her iron maw and spew you 
like a Jonah onto the dock. 

Welcome back to life!
Bienvenue! Vous êtes arrive à la Nouvelle!

Karla Linn Merrifield

Karla Linn Merrifield has 14 books to her credit. Following her 2018 Psyche’s Scroll (Poetry Box Select) is the 2019 full-length book Athabaskan Fractal: Poems of the Far North from Cirque Press. She is currently at work on a poetry collection, My Body the Guitar, inspired by famous guitarists and their guitars; the book is slated to be published in December 2021 by Before Your Quiet Eyes Publications Holograph Series (Rochester, NY). She is a frequent contributor to The Songs of Eretz Poetry Review. Web site:; blog:; Tweet @LinnMerrifiel; Instagram: