Eden 1843
By Nancy Bailey Miller

Abbie Alcott honored Bronson's schemes:
utopian farm, new home for their young brood,
until December came to freeze their dreams

of Eden. "Don't depend on cow nor teams
of horses for the plough, nor sheep for wool,"
said Bronson. Abbie honored all the schemes

while he went off to speak his vision. Means
for living from the land in summer could
beguile, until December froze those dreams.

Louisa May slept under attic beams
and played in orchards as her mother would
attempt to plant and honor Bronson's schemes.

Twenty shared the farmhouse, field and streams,
but Abbie dug latrines, prepared the food,
until December came to freeze their dreams.

The cupboard bare, the firewood gone, the reams
of books on tolerance—all in theory good,
mute on their shelves—she honored Bronson's schemes.
And still December came to freeze their dreams.

First published in Before the Dove Returns, Strathmoor Books,
a Division of Tabby House, Charlotte Harbor, FL, 2004


Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]