We know the stories of our forebears 

who risked a grasping fickle sea, carrying 

their old lives wrapped in memory 

and bundles. We see their will mapped 

in rugged homesteads, land freed from 

trees, and granite stones pried from earth 

for fields then hauled to stack for walls 

to mark boundaries.  

Think of it.

What dreams were lost, gained 

in spates of hunger, luck, the cruelty

of mistakes? Unknowns became

knowns as they moved again or often,

shouldering bravery and heartbreak

from dangers—wildlife, angry arrows,

death, failures, lost in uncertainty. 

Fact is many were refugees escaping 

debts, indenture, jail, or adventurers 

who came with the mind and muscle

to work, to blaze their way.

The Revolution’s eight years 

to sever England’s rule begat the state’s

adopted motto—a scaffold for the war’s

history—as if they’d forget their will,

a reminder for generations of the fire 

and ire that still burns in them: Live Free or Die.


Connemara Wadsworth’s chapbook, The Possibility of Scorpions won the White Eagle Coffee Store Press 2009 Chapbook Contest. She’s appeared in Prairie Schooner, Bellevue Literary Review, Valparaiso, and elsewhere. “Mediation on a Photo” was a winner of The Griffin Museum’s Once Upon a Time: Photos That Inspire Tall Tales.