This is the house he lived in: back to back,
two rooms huddled to keep the comfort in,
Ravens flapped single on the wind. He took
a wife straight as a cedar, but not young.
The land gave little, but it gave enough:
apples, hoarded to keep the winter through;
partridge, rabbit, venison strong as grief;
blueberries that had learned the ocean’s blue.
And as her fingers stiffened, he split wood
and stacked it in the shed. As her back bent,
he hauled fresh water through the snow which stood
impassive, fed the fire while she slept.
He buried her by the salt marsh, where the tide
would rise and fall at her feet. That spring, he died.