[singing at my brother’s wedding with the old timers. I am the small person with the tamporine. I left my banjo at home.]

I hear your voice singing

among these hills,

along these highways,


of young men on horses

and women sewing dresses,

singing of tobacco hoeing

and coal burning stoves

one room school houses

and church bells ringing,

of creek baptizings,

dinner on the ground

and brush arbor meetings,

[Family resting on top a pile of sugar cane during molasses making. Taken by Pearl Campbell some time in the 1950s.]

I hear your melodies

played on the mandolin,

fiddle, guitar and violin

or sometimes

a lone dulcimer haunting

these valleys

like orphaned bagpipes,

crying for their

momma highlands.

[my nephew near one of many natural bridges, photo taken by me]

T.V.’s blaring,

cell phones ringing,

motors racing

and machines raging

cannot drown you out

so long as this body




I have decided to run away
like a pouting child
with a bag full of biscuits
and a tiny tent

Maybe I will climb over the wall
and sit on dry leaves
until I forget what haunts
all my grown up dreams

Or perhaps I will just walk the road
made of packed red clay
that runs past my ambitions
right into the meadow

where sparrows fly
even in winter.