Commonplace
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www.common-place.org · vol. 1 · no. 3 · April 2001
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Bible

 

 

 

Three Poems Introduction | I | II | III
Nicole Cooley

The Mather Boys
Richard, Increase, Cotton

The one who starts it: who first crosses the cold lead ocean
   to settle in this land

The one who prays and fasts in secret for God to untie his
   tongue

The one who waits all day in his study for proof of Election
   or at least a Remedy

The one whose ship is driven against the white rocks at the
   edge of Isle of Shoals

The one with an Infirmity in his Speech, each word splitting
   open in his mouth

The one who leaves his study only for meals or Family
   Prayer

The one whose hand crosses the page again and again,
   practicing words he cannot say

The one who holds The Book of Martyrs on the ship's
   slick deck as anchor cables snap, sails rip from masts

The one who explains that Strong affections bring strong
   afflictions
and shuts his study door, his son standing
      alone outside

The son who dreams his grandfather's voyage, who reads
   his father's prayers, who will write the future down:

It is a world all over defiled with Sin, God will shortly
   burn it for a Witch

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