The Old Manse
Sitting at my writing desk last night
I lay my hands on the antique oak
and fingered the lacquered grain
as a mother would examine a sleeping child's hair.
I wanted the desk to tell me its stories.
It must have ancestral roots.
Could I send a splinter of it to a DNA lab somewhere?
Would they send me results?
Would they tell me that I am a dead tree?
In Concord, Massachusetts there is
a house that thrums like blood with history.
Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne have lived there.
An easy stroll out back and there is the spot where
the Revolutionary war began.
Hawthorne's desk was against the wall
because there was too much beauty out the window he said.
Even the window itself is etched with history.
A tiny poem "The smallest twig leans clear against the sky."
Composed it says "by my wife and written with her diamond.
Inscribed by my husband at sunset, April 3, 1843. In the Gold light."
For now, I have a writing desk with secrets in its scars.
It is turned against the wall because
is still distracting with its own romance of pine needles and cloud.
I will, God willing, write a little here.