The outsiders move in

  The Barre, Mass., town green in the late 19th Century.

The Barre, Mass., town green in the late 19th Century.

"Who cared enough for the town to take these pictures,

blueprint or sepia, with their fading dates --

eighteen-seventy, say, or eighteen-eighty?

did he guess that there was an enemy at the gates?

 

As he stood on the green (it is there today, but smaller,

with fewer trees) to record the the new hotel,

he could hardly suspect that, so, he was recording

some of the vanguard of that army as well.

 

They had breached the gates unheralded, unnoticed.

not in disguise, not creeping like scout or spy

on this hardly-more-than-a-village, with its cobweb

of straggling streets called Chestnut or Church or High....''

 

-- From "The Taken Town,'' by Constance Carrier

  The Barre Hotel, in Barre, Mass. It opened in 1889 and burned down in 1990.

The Barre Hotel, in Barre, Mass. It opened in 1889 and burned down in 1990.