"This poem brings to mind crisp early-autumn mornings as the birds are preparing for the weather change ahead - and have a lot to say. The coolness of the morning is a silence unto itself, unbroken by the raucous sunshine, but this poem brings to my ear all the hustle and noise that follows soon after." Sarah Rossey, N/S Editor
The faintest warble of the thrush comes
from deep in the woods,
even before light.
The tiniest warp in the cool air,
as if the sound was not apart
but deep within the cochleae.
Before joined by the raucous jay,
the trill of the junco,
the staccato drill of the chippie,
before the cock his strutting wail begins;
a reminder of how rare
This poem is classic AppalTrad wrapped in modern poetic techniques. It's almost perfectly AppalTrad, a link between Appalachia's shapeshifting present and its settled, comfortable, familiar past. Sabne Raznik - N/S Editor
The ancestors killed for food:
hogs shot, strung up, gutted; chickens axed, rabbits trapped.
The ancestors tilled the ground, clods of red clay,
sown seed rows.
The ancestors canned peaches, strung leather britches,
made ketchup, chow-chow, piccalilli, green tomato pie.
They milked cows, smoked ham, churned butter.
Like Antaeus, their strength came from earth.
This is the stuff of country music, porch swappin', the Georgics.
Crosshatches in my hands are dirty from working this morning
the soil of my garden. No amount of pumice
or progress removes the longitude within my palm.
No amount of rainfall can wash these roots away.
The song goes up to the mountaintop,
the one that resurrects those who remember the shed,
the table of pies, the hand on the hoe.
Ghosts in a tomato jar hot out of the bath,
in first green shoots, in muddy boots by the door.