Hi All

Busy times here. I wish I could say I'm hav­ing fun, but I'm not. Look for new con­tent very soon, though. In the mean­time, I ran across this poem that hits me where I live in its last few phras­es, though the water where I grew up was hard, turned blue jeans green and whites yel­low in the laun­dry, fizzed like pop and sep­a­rat­ed into two warm and evil-tast­ing lay­ers, heavy like saw­dust on your tongue except drink­able. I can close my eyes and taste it in my mind and know how far away from home I am, because the water here tastes clean and cold, like a rich man's.

Ter­rain by Crys­tal Wilkin­son (from Appalachi­an Her­itage)

the map of me can’t be all hills and moun­tains even though i’ve been geo­graph­i­cal­ly rur­al and coun­try all my life. the twang in my voice has moved down­hill to the flat land a time or two. my taste buds have exiled them­selves from fried green toma­toes and rhubarb­for goats’ milk and pine nuts. still i am haunt­ed by home. i return to old ground time and again, a hom­ing black bird des­tined to always return. i am plain brown bag, oak and twig, mud pies and gutwrench­ing gospel in the throats of old tobac­co brown men. when my spine crooks even fur­ther toward my mother’s i will con­tin­ue to crave the bul­bous twang of wild shal­lots, the gamey famil­iar­i­ty of oxtails and kraut boil­ing in a cast iron pot. i toe-dive in all the rivers seek­ing the whole of me, scout vir­tu­al african ter­rain try­ing to sift through ances­tral mem­o­ries, but still i’m called back home through hymns sung by stout black women in large hats and flow­ered dress­es. i can’t say the land­scape of me is all hon­ey­suck­le and clover cause there have always been mines in these lily-cov­ered val­leys. you have to risk the bri­ar bush to reach the sweet dark fruit, and ain’t no coun­try woman all church and piney woods. there is pluck and cayenne pep­per. there is juke joint gyra­tions in the youn­gun-bear­ing girth of this bel­ly and these sup­ple hips. all roads lead me back across the waters of blood and breast milk, from ocean, to riv­er, to the lake, to the creek, to branch and stream, back to the sweet rain, to the cold water in the glass i drink when i thirst to know where i belong.

This entry was posted in appalachian heritage, crystal wilkinson, water. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.