Shirley Alexander (12-05-1953 / Somewhere under heaven, Georgia, USA)
Sunday Drive Back Home
I drove back to our old home place today,
with the lonesome ache of memories for company.
Now, I stand by a thistle strewn cow pasture.
Let the dry summer wind steal my tears.
A black walnut tree used to spread across heaven,
shading the back of our three-porch house.
Laughter and tears still echo down the hall
and into the ghost parlor of my childhood.
Here is where four children grew,
blossomed wild as roses in the meadow.
I close my eyes. I can almost hear
my Daddy calling cows in for hay.
See how a long line of blacktop snakes its way
across our meadow and into the far horizon.
The roses and walnut tree are gone.
Not even a stump is left standing.
Nothing remains but two tall rock chimneys,
bittersweet guardians of my childhood,
pointing into a grey Georgia sky.
And me, stone still by the barbed wire.
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