Maine Burial Plot

Mar 8, 2019

Today’s poem is “Maine Burial Plot” by Thomas R. Moore. He’s published three books of poems: The Bolt-Cutters (2010), Chet Sawing (2012), and Saving Nails (2016) and currently serves as Poet Laureate for Belfast, Maine. 

The poem was inspired by walking in the woods on Cape Rosier. 

Maine Burial Plot
by Thomas R. Moore

Granite posts square a God’s acre, a tiny
plot of blueberries and asters beside a crushed-
stone drive to three new houses on the shore. 

The black slate headstones vanished a few years
back, pretty pieces for a garden in New York
or maybe it was kids one night in a pick-up 

drinking Bud Light who tipped them out, then
regretted what they’d done and dropped the stones
into a gully. Somebody knows. The names 

are erased except on a tax roll or a family tree—
hardscrabble farmers working thin soil over
ledge, the husband cutting shingles at a mill 

or wrestling granite or shaping white oak
futtocks for a schooner in Castine. The new
driveway skirts a rough-cut granite cellar 

hole grown up in popple, the apple trees gone
wild, the only sounds a clunking hoe, the gulls,
the wind, a washboard’s splash and thrum.  

Poem copyright © 2018 Thomas R. Moore.