This week’s poem, “This Acreage Her Lineage,” presents a portrait of a woman considering both her end and the end of a line. I love this poem’s imagery of place – rooms, boundaries, pines – and how epically they hold through time and in a woman’s powerful sense of self.

Nancy Romines Walters is a disabled poet and visual artist who lives in the foothills of Wilton. Her poetry appeared most recently in “Artword 2021: Ekphrasis” at the Portland Museum of Art. Her written work can also be found in “Enough! Poems of Resistance and Protest,” “Balancing Act 2: An Anthology of Poems by Fifty Maine Women,” The Frost Meadow Review, and The American Journal of Nursing, among others.

This Acreage Her Lineage
By Nancy Romines Walters

An outsized desire preoccupies her
a want for control past her living
the fate of her house
and the land surrounding
hard boundaries long set and marked
by iron spikes at four corners

she examines the reason she so deeply cares
she delves and – oh! discovers wombs within rooms
her unbroken lineage of matriarchs
she is on the very top
of a tap root spot
through soil past granite to her family’s version of Eve

she loves the sentinel pines spared centuries chopping
alive on the hill, stoic guards of the house
the house ruled by women, always
and hers will be the last stone in the plot
her empty womb leaves it abandoned
when she is ashes the house will not burn

it was clad in asbestos, before she was born
while she failed to ignite at all
when her cold hands are loosened
the last time from the rocker
there will be no next woman to care and preside
those who don’t care will sell it, and leave

souls aren’t for sale, though
will stay within walls, conversing, recounting
dreaming, and quiet, content
alone, she wonders if she’s already transformed
or if not, if she’ll know when she is
either way, she has no plans for leaving

Megan Grumbling is a poet and writer who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. “This Acreage Her Lineage,” © 2020 by Nancy Romines Walters, appears by permission of the author.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: