- History: A Tour Of The Grounds
Clattering sounds of the carriage wheels repeat.Cement-braced oak trees bristle in strict rows,Their parallels narrowing in retreatThe way the years come slowly to a closeOr Something and Nothing gradually meet(What happens after that nobody knowsThough it is said one only has to wait).The dirt road leads to the preserved estate.
This is the table where the peace was signed.Here is the room where whispers led to blood.Shelves of the great man’s library are linedWith manuscripts that date before the floodAnd drafts of the symphony he finished blind.The wall was built with oyster shells and mud.Each year a small piece of the story goes,Claimed by the ivy and the climbing rose.
Plinths. Doric columns. Quoins and architraves.Behind plush ropes the gilded, too-short bedAnd the chair that held an earl upright. Sun lavesThe mullioned panes to polychrome. The deadAre posed in portrait frames, far from the graves,Kept from the lesser things they did and said.Muse of meaning, color with fresh tintsThe lives that survive their first significance. [End Page 4]
There are vast mansions in our fathers’ house.Not everyone stays at the storied endTo duel beneath the chandelier, carouseAmong the hedgerows dandled by the wind,And die at hearthside next to dog or spouse(A shaky fact the scholars may amend).Still, most of us would visit here again.The tour guide smiles and gladly waves us in. [End Page 5]
MORRI CREECH has new work in The Yale Review, Southwest Review, and Oxford American. His third book, The Sleep of Reason, was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize.