Poetry Month – April 8, 2022

This poem comes from restricted section of the Concord Public Library in Concord, Massachusetts. The ancient papers were opened to the Whale Rock Workshop under the watchful eye of Gary Schmidt. He asked us to peer into these ancient documents and find the glimmers of story. Story is everywhere.


Rueben Brown kept accounts
Meticulous transactions
Repair saddle: Zebulon Smith
Jonas Green Wortham: twenty whips
Money borrowed.
Goods purchased.
Red calf in trade.
Pen scratching paper
Day by week by year
Late at night
End of day

Ruben Brown kept accounts
In a town that counts bodies
Born and died.
One son
Under a small marker
His own
Buried him too
All counted
Late at night
End of the day

When the revolution came
Rueben Brown emptied
His pockets for all the soldiers
kept them shod
and saddled
and bound to their horses.
And buried them
In the ground
Under stone markers
Each entry etched
And scrawled
Keeping account
Late at night
End of day.

©Lindsey Lane