Rachel Lyman Field

(1894-1942 / the United States)

And the Place Thereof


This small house fitted him like some square shell
Weathered and worn, as if it somehow bore
His very likeness, but no smoke thread mounts;
He will not stand in greeting at the door
As he stood, gaunt and smiling, three days back.
He has no need now of the wood he piled;
The water pail and dipper, the small store
Of china on the shelf; the rocker there.
The bed-quilt will not warm him any more
On northeast nights. Birds that he fed still flock
Fearless and singing round about his door.
He will not see the sweet wild raspberries grow
Rosy as rubies, bright above the shore;
He will not dig his brown potato hills;
Or gather apples, spicy at the core.
The peas he planted hang in long green pods
Ripe for his picking now, and here a score
Of yellow squashes fatten in the sun.
Others will bear them all away before
Frost comes . . . O, ancient Psalmist, well you knew:
The place thereof shall know him now no more.

Submitted: Tuesday, September 07, 2010

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