Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: The Old Gross Place
Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate
This week’s favorite entry from a past column comes from Amy Chapman of Greenwood, who writes that Patricia Ranzoni’s poem about an abandoned farmhouse brings her old neighbors back to life. “As long as they are preserved in her words,” Amy says. “their sheer white curtains and their everyday lives are still present there.”
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. Please note that the column is no longer accepting submissions; comments about it may be directed to special consultant to the poet laureate, Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.