Martha Vertreace-Doody's Poetry

​BEGINNING OF A NEW WORLD, 1833

Near the village of log–cabins, a barn–raising. Dinner hour.
          The cook spreads a good meal
on the table my husband shapes of planks nailed
           to front yard elms.
He gathers us—twelve or fifteen backwoods men
          with leather tans,
ready to take the reins of government;
          tall men of few words,
eyes which see everything except wives,
          I, the only woman here.
Someone places a chair on a box so I can sit
          at their level, face to face.
Dressed in white India muslin,
          long sky blue sash, more drama
than fear, l rise, ask for divine blessing
          on our plain fare.
Beyond grove's edge, mullein taller than work horses,
         leaves stripped as balm for sunburn.