Stone by stone,
Hardened hands clear fields unsown;
Weary arms fell long-leaf pine—
Rocks define the land we own.
Rise as our ambition sprawls
Through a mansion with locked gates—
Worth equates with gilded halls.
Do not bleed when pricked by darts,
But our turrets block the light.
From this night, no one departs:
We have buried flesh with bone
And entombed our children here—
Vaults of fear rise stone by stone.
First published in Quarterday: A Journal of Classical Poetry, vol. 3, no. 1 (Imbolc 2017): 40. Edited by L.J. McDowall. Glasgow, Scotland: Quarterday Press.