Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: The Old Gross Place

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

In this week?s poem Patricia Ranzoni of Bucksport finds what she calls ?generational presences and absences? in a rural Maine house.

The Old Gross Place by Patricia Ranzoni

Across the road the
           old dairy is an apparition. 
Not haunted so much as
           that it is, itself, a ghost.
When I go for mail, Hazel
           is not in the kitchen.
Mary is not upstairs, Tom
           not in his chair
by the window. White sheers
           are an absence I prom-
ise to remember.
           One could watch forever
and never see them again.
           Search clean through
those waving old panes
           front to back, not a soul
not even a stick of their furniture
           to rest wavy eyes
on. Why a neighbor
           can look clear through
that thinning house
           all the way to heaven.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2000 Patricia Ranzoni. Reprinted from Settling, Puckerbrush Press, 2000, by permission of Patricia Ranzoni. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at mainepoetlaureate@gmail.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.