A Pocket of Resistance: A World of Difference

This appeared in the old version of this site earlier this summer. We were visiting our nephew, niece and her family in Boston in June. Kate and Conor Hansen, Zack Jewell, and Kate and Conor’s remarkable children Leo and Oona, took us on a cook’s tour of Boston on Sunday, and then Monday, Kate took us on a tour of Concord, Lexington, etc. along the trail of Revolutionary War battles. I continue to try and refill the archives of the website. It is good for me in many ways to revisit these writings.

a world of difference, it was; it was
almost surreal
after san diego june gloom
where the flowers and the water
threatened to go away
against the tan and brown backdrop
of high desert,
benign from the japanese current,
to be thrust into the heart of our history,
independence and all,
literature and all;
guests of our niece, nephew, family,
we roamed boston, concord, lexington,
where revere cast off for his famous ride
preserved by a plaque besides
twenty feet of railroad track going nowhere;
the ship constitution lay in drydock nearby,
wood, oak wood begat “ole ironsides”
naval history
with people climbing the brow,
stomping around the main deck
wondering about the belaying pins’ purpose
in the heat of oncoming summer;
then the day of departure
when new england rain brought real cool,
not the southwest corner imitation cool,
as our niece, appropriately Kate,
drove us by concord
where the battle for real freedom began,
the battle road
where they skirmished into boston town,
lexington with the house on the edge of the green
where the young patriot crawled
upon the porch to die
for me;
emerson’s house; thoreau’s walden pond;
alcott’s house, the one with the little women;
hawthorne’s old manse before the one
in salem with seven gables
screaming literature,
the stuff of my dreams;
tourists, families, school groups
walking the paths where the fight for freedom
began near two and a half centuries ago,
crossing the transoms, wandering around the homes
where american lit began living
on parchment with quill pens
and
i wondered as we drove past
the asphalt parking lots
with the people pouring out of
cars and buses heading
to the paths and transoms
if they would get a sense of all that history
for
i rode without word in the back seat,
awed by the significance of it all,
simultaneously feeling
i was trespassing
on the privacy of
paul the silversmith,
of iron sailors on
the wooden ship nicknamed ironsides,
of minutemen who died for us,
of literati in their homes
and
wished, oh i wished
we all could have a moment of
silence, respect
for the beginning of our past
without
tromping on it.

 

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