Invisible to me, but not to Bill
Austin, surveyor, who spies each little rill

And ridge and ditch and remnants of a fence
From centuries ago that once defined
The Hancock lands from those of Thomas Cox,
Whose cellar hole is all he left behind.
He married Sarah Chase and she spun flax,
That grew at Quansoo farm, as well as wool.
They had five kids but he was lost at sea.
Before he died he sold some “bushy scruff”
To James Hancock, who bought and moved a house,
The Hancock-Mitchell House, as now it’s known,
To where it still stands sentinel today,
Its cedar shingles weathered silver gray,
Upon a plain that’s very much the same.
A little bluestem sea beside the sea
With switchgrass bunches lining old dirt roads
Spartina marshes flanking Black Point Pond
A bottle dump that’s near the osprey pole
Old jars of Whiting’s milk and whiskey flasks
Atlantic surf that pounds upon the beach
Grotesque and picturesque contorted oaks
That show just how a couple hundred years
Of constant southwest winds can shape a tree.
Still children roam the woods and ancient ways,
The Millers, Moores and Zacks are kids today,
Like Mitchell, Hancock, Cox and Mayhew kids,
Who dashed back home for dinner just in time
And smelled the smoke of oak that skyward curls
From each Quenames and Quansoo chimney hearth.
I don’t know if I will leave behind
A cellar hole or fence or ditch or ridge
That a hundred years from now someone will find.
But Thanksgiving is a day we still observe,
I bet that Thomas Cox observed it, too,
And loved it when he opened up his door,
And children ran inside the house to eat,
The meal that he and Sarah had prepared,
Beside the loom and wheel and skeins of wool:
A family giving thanks upon Quansoo.