virgin soil is still tilled as I walk; oxen strain
to pull a large fieldstone from its place.
The hard crack is heard of stone on stone–
each one upon the last as walls are built up.
Women in long dresses bend, pluck blackberries
from the sun. Inside, precious crimson syrup
seeps through sieves.
Now drumbeats hush as arrowheads whoosh
through air. Long strips of birch bark
are peeled from trees, fastened into homes.
Along the Sandy River, the Amaseconti–
First Ones Here.
Even this ledge-rock
once trembled against ice. In its striations,
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