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.