Magazine May 3, 2021, Issue

The Commonwealth

(Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

(Cummington, Mass.)

They burned the house and searched the coals for nails.
Now all that’s left is this foundation stone
Storing up the heat for when it fails
Like the snake who thinks the sunlight is his own.

They took the nails and built a better place
Out west where land was easy. Here, the trees,
Like bankers, took the farm and left no trace.
These woods are young. No revolutionaries

Sheltered here. Clear-cut like the rest
Of Massachusetts until our destiny —
Nothing short of empire — was manifest.
They burned the house with such finality.

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Daniel Ratelle — Daniel Rattelle is a New England writer studying at the University of St Andrews. His chapbook, The Commonwealth, is forthcoming from Little Gidding Press.

In This Issue



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