Ruth Stone died on the 19th. A few summers ago we rented her house in Ripton, Vermont, and got to know her family. Lovely people. Lovely poet. Rest in peace.
In the coolness here I care
Not for the down-pressed noises overhead,
I hear in my pearly bone the wear
Of marble under the rain; nothing is truly dead,
There is only the wearing away,
The changing of means. Nor eyes I have
To tell how in the summer the mourning dove
Rocks on the hemlock’s arm, nor ears to rend
The sad regretful mind
With the call of the horned lark.
I lie so still that the earth around me
Shakes with the weight of day;
I do not mind if the vase
Holds decomposed cut flowers, or if they send
One of their kind to tidy up. Such play
I have no memories of,
Nor of the fire-bush flowers, or the bark
Of the rough pine where the crows
With their great haw and flap
Circle in kinned excitement when a wind blows.
I am kin with none of these,
Nor even wed to the yellowing silk that splits;
My sensitive bones, which dreaded,
As all the living do, the dead,
Wait for some unappointed pattern. The wits
Of countless centuries dry in my skull and overhead
I do not heed the first rain out of winter,
Nor do I care what they have planted. At my center
The bone glistens; of wondrous bones I am made;
And alone shine in a phosphorous glow,
So, in this little plot where I am laid.