I drove west for ninety minutes last Saturday morning.
When you drive for ninety minutes west from Boston on the interstate highway, you come to the Connecticut River Valley. If you know your Emily Dickinson, you have come to her hills, her grasses, her skies, her summer.
My Mapquest directions had simplified my search to looking for a sign marked Exit 4. That’s one way of explaining how I began driving north along the Connecticut River. Less than two hours later the friend I had arranged to meet in Northampton was walking with me through the quiet of the Bridge Street Cemetery.
Might the poet of Amherst have attended funerals in this cemetery the next town over from her home? If so, her attention may have settled at one point on this hoary stone.
Something would have stirred in her at this sight, I have to think.
A long long sleep, a famous sleep,
That makes no show for dawn.
Was ever idleness like this?
Within a hut of stone
To bask the centuries away
Nor once look up for noon?
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