Across the ditch, under the trees,
a new chainlink fence, broken stones repaired.
The legible epitaphs:
Franklin S., onley son of Daniel and Atlanta Chipman
died March 2, 1831 AE 2 years and 2 months,
and yours, Atlanta, wife of Daniel Chipman,
died Oct. 27, 1842, age 33 years.
No trees when you walked
this mountain’s stony side:
the forest gone to timber and graze.
You walked among stone and scrub,
the thin green grass.

Vulture, coyote, had not come north,
wolf and rattlesnake had gone.
But raven and hawk searched your pastures;
diptheria, smallpox, scarlet fever, tetanus,
the summer milk sickness, winter hunger hunted you.
October when you died
you saw the sun rise as I see it now:
silver through silver across the valley,
Lincoln Mountain through her silver veils.
And at night, brighter than I will ever see,
the stars, thin coin silver moon.

But no orange maple,
brown oak, yellow popple,
deep green white pine.
Not yet along this old town road
old sheep fence grown deep
into these old, old trees.

This entry was posted in Seasons.

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