The gestalt of the bigger small houses includes aspects reminding us of the slave trade, rum and ”Negro goods” mills— Rhode Island the undisputed center of the slave trade in the 17th and 18th centuries in America. The silences in this poem are witnesses.

Deck chairs on the lawn

overlooking the cove, the boats—

I pass them each day.

Always empty, three

empty chairs, armrests touching,

now overflowing

with Autumn sunshine.

They whisper to each other.

The wait is over.

Soon they will be stacked

in the dry dark shed, to con-

tinue in private.

Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Cranston RI and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at and other sites.

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