In a photograph of my father’s Rhode Island,
His home describes itself in tactile, sculptural terms.
A well looms. Once, I stared the photo down
Till I could picture it—till the clapboard
And shingles lay like any focused thought
Against a pure white backdrop. Now
It was an idealized beauty treated as a vision,
But an abstraction unquiet in its given body—
Insistant, puritanical & aware of its materials
And heft—stolid and wooden. The roof joists
Turn up, but return earthward decisively
Like a check-mark upside-down.
We staked it out when I ﬁrst saw New England.
My father pointed, Look at the well, it’s gone.