Old Lorimer Cemetery
The river swells and bears, then thins some summers so that you might step across it. Her father’s mill grinds wheat to flour, screw turning in its current. Lewis notes her as agreeable, affable, at the age of puberty, the most beautiful female since Kentucky. Flour slides downriver like silt.
Her father, commandant of the Spanish land grant, trades with Kaskaskia and Sainte Genevieve. Her mother with much circumspection performed the honoursof the table. Voices widen over the river from the Red House, spaced as rain on a goblet’s side.
Osage orange holds its close grain, and the hackberries open their crowns. Her mother is now buried on the hill she chose, where the Shawnee were before, the place only entered from the east, off the river, as if the morning sun.
As the wings of the elms, the inner parts of the earth roll in tremors of the fault, and the silver mass of the river is lead weight. In time Clark signs away [End Page 138]
the land grant of de Carondelet, lying, and being between the River Saint Cosmeand Cape Girardeau, and bounded on the eastby the Mississippi, and westwardly by White Water.
Her mother, Charlotte Pemanpieh Bougainville, was the natural daughter of Louis Antoine, who went around the world. A plant bears his name, an island, and straits,
but her father chose other verses for her mother’s stone: how she followed nature and was perfect for it.
Find these lines carved in Latin in Missouri marble, consort to the sky. [End Page 139]
Angie Macri was born and raised in southern Illinois. Her recent work appears in Natural Bridge and Crazyhorse. An Arkansas Arts Council fellow, she teaches in Little Rock.