Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sunrise at the Hummock (revised)

Moswetuset Hummock:

This wooded area located at the intersection of East Squantum St. and Quincy Shore Dr. was the seat of the Indian chief Chickatabot, who was visited by Captain Myles Standish and the Indian guide Squanto in 1621. The hummock's name - Moswetuset, or "hill shaped like an arrowhead" - is believed to be the origin of the commonwealth's name, "Massachusetts." The site is free and open to the public.

Moswetuset Hummock
Corner of East Squantum St. and Quincy Shore Dr.
Quincy, MA 02171
(from Discover Quincy

Sunrise at the Hummock (revised)

The wide sky fills
With lambent light
As I lead you round,
Around the stony hummock.

Like a silent beast,
It crouches at the
Edge where
The wide salt marsh
Meets the soft-ruffling

Blue, clear sky still softly lighting
As we watch the far horizon.
We chat of how we heard
That tribes had used to fish, and tread
The mud flats, feeling with their feet for clams
As we watch for the edge of the sun to tip above the edge
Of the world. You joked that the world would
Roll to show the sun, then,
Sudden, rock back again.

But all our jokes
And tittle-tattle
When we saw the
Sky begin to gild,
Gold shining on the

When I was a child, I had the
Job of polishing up the silver:
Wet rag, dip into the gray, soft, grainy polish.
I wiped the silver and let it dry,
Gray polish dimming silver and tarnish alike.

But, oh! when I rubbed,
A window appeared
In the filmy coating.
I looked through the
Film and met light
And truth,
Though wavy and

The sky at dawn,
On far horizon
Looked as though
Some giant hand
Were rubbing away
That blue, blue film.
And just for a moment,
Light struck through,
And truth,
Though perhaps distorted.
That shining gilt
Across the sky,
A window through the
Film, cast across our
World, perhaps to
Polish, to rub the tarnish

And the sun that rose
Cast its shining path,
Across the ruffled sea,
A shining road
Across the rippled mud,
Up the hill to me.
It struck in my heart,
And I, transfixed,
Gazed through the
Window of gold.
What broken hopes
And withered faith
May be rubbed clean,
Tarnish on the silver?

Oct. 24, 2007
Revised 2/13/08


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