virgin soil is still tilled as I walk; oxen strain
to pull a large fieldstone from its place.
The hard crack is heard of stone on stone–
each one upon the last as walls are built up.
Women in long dresses bend, pluck blackberries
from the sun. Inside, precious crimson syrup
seeps through sieves.
Now drumbeats hush as arrowheads whoosh
through air. Long strips of birch bark
are peeled from trees, fastened into homes.
Along the Sandy River, the Amaseconti–
First Ones Here.
Even this ledge-rock
once trembled against ice. In its striations,
the teeth of a glacier live. My fingers
caress what became smooth from the rough.
My father’s voice echoes in the fallen tree’s rings.
A ring is a year–
in each ring:
listen! the story of a year.
When Even the Inanimate Seem to Rise and Fall With Breath
It’s that time of year in Maine–
same time six years ago
when together, we fell in love with this bit of rocky land
after one traipse around its woodsy path,
one round trip down the gravel road–
that godly time in May in Maine when even
the inanimate seem to rise and fall with breath–
when along the road fiddleheads still knot tightly into fists,
the grading truck now come and gone–when you can hit fifty
in the Jeep, when everything
but this one moment and your future
billow out behind you in a cloud of dust.
Cynthia Brackett-Vincent holds a B.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Maine at Farmington. Her poetry has had state (Maine Poets Society), regional (New England Writers), and national (National Federation of State Poetry Societies) recognition. She’s judged poetry for Writer’s Digest, among others. Over 100 of her poems as well as her nonfiction have appeared in the United States and abroad. From rural Maine, she publishes the Aurorean poetry journal, edits anthologies, creates greeting cards featuring her photographs of New England, and she unabashedly delights in grandmotherhood.