After the retreat of the Wisconsin glacier, tundra-like conditions give way to coniferous forest (~5000 years ago) to mixed hemlock, beech and birch “Acadian Forest”. The Mi’kmaq peoples called the island Epekwitk and the bay was known as Puku’samkek, or “the place where there are plenty of clams in the sand.”
In the pavement's subgrade
you will find no monuments.
None of the dead here comes dressed
in a coffin. Under the bulldozer's blade
they were unearthed on the ground --
not ceremoniously as with an archaeologist's
spade and brush: a pearl of glass which once hung around someone's neck, totems etched
on bedrock, flint shards and arrowheads,
a fishing spear, some skulls and assorted
bones -- then re-interred falling back
into the shadows.
Now they are trapped under asphalt,
encased prisoners of the highway.
They want to break through into the light --
to breathe, to see again, to tell the stories
of how far they came.
The sign here indicates that it's only
a short distance to St. Peters Harbour.
- Frank Ledwell, from A Taste of Water (2004)
Used with permission.