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Dedication For A Plot Of Ground

 This plot of ground 
facing the waters of this inlet 
is dedicated to the living presence of 
Emily Dickinson Wellcome 
who was born in England; married; 
lost her husband and with 
her five year old son 
sailed for New York in a two-master; 
was driven to the Azores; 
ran adrift on Fire Island shoal, 
met her second husband 
in a Brooklyn boarding house, 
went with him to Puerto Rico 
bore three more children, lost 
her second husband, lived hard 
for eight years in St.
Thomas, Puerto Rico, San Domingo, followed the oldest son to New York, lost her daughter, lost her "baby," seized the two boys of the oldest son by the second marriage mothered them—they being motherless—fought for them against the other grandmother and the aunts, brought them here summer after summer, defended herself here against thieves, storms, sun, fire, against flies, against girls that came smelling about, against drought, against weeds, storm-tides, neighbors, weasels that stole her chickens, against the weakness of her own hands, against the growing strength of the boys, against wind, against the stones, against trespassers, against rents, against her own mind.
She grubbed this earth with her own hands, domineered over this grass plot, blackguarded her oldest son into buying it, lived here fifteen years, attained a final loneliness and— If you can bring nothing to this place but your carcass, keep out.

Poem by William Carlos (WCW) Williams
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