Trees All Glass

[audio link]

Concord, Massachusetts   1845

1. The Tool

Her diamond wedding ring,
its brilliant facets,
edges sharper than a knife
capable of incising
2. Wonder-Child

From The Fairie Queen,
they took her name: Una.
Her birth dispelled  
the bad dreamland
of their first child’s death—
desolation fading as Una grew
and flourished.   

Like the storm
of these past two days

the sun radiant
on ice-covered trees.

3. What Una Saw

When she climbed
from the chair
to the window-sill

her toddler-knees
buckling, her fingers pointing
to the trees
all glass

4.  The Writing on the Window

The scratch of Sophia’s diamond
like the tick of the finest clock.

the flow of her script
words taking form
as if foretold:

Una stood on this windowsill
only ten months  old.

5. When He Comes Home

He will applaud
Una’s triumph

admire the depth and flow
of his wife’s tribute,
the vigor of her signature,
Sophia A. Hawthorne.

6. A Visit to the Old Manse

This is where he wrote
tales somber as New England winters.
The brightest room
in the house
his desk facing the wall
the view out the window
too distracting. The river
in the distance.

Her mark.

—Claire Keyes, Marblehead, MA