Beneath the Brooding Hill (Faith Goble)
My dear mother took this photo of me in the early 80's in eastern Kentucky . I was about twenty-five when this picture was made, and even though I didn't know it at the time, I was expecting my first child.
Beneath the Brooding Hill
I grew up in a mountain town
Where the sluggish river wound
Around the staid feet of the solemn hills,
In the strait and sunless vales.
Stern, cragged mountains crumbled
Above dry hollows and dark dales,
While blue hills rolled and tumbled
Towards blue grassland to the west,
And they coursed across the coalfields
Till they smoothly came to rest.
The mountains’ black veins glittered
With their hard and mineral soul;
They took the fathers and the sons
As they gave up their coal.
And the heavy Mack trucks grumbled
With their anthracitic loads
As they rattled and they rumbled
Down the pitted two-lane roads.
The roads meandered over mountains;
The dying days meandered too,
And they both fell towards the lowlands
In a haze of smoky blue.
As each year approached its ending,
And gaudy autumn rolled around,
Sweet wood smoke drifted gently
From the hills above the town.
As little tongues of greedy flame
Licked along the feeding ground,
The corn shocks in the fields below
Turned a brittle palest brown,
And the stubble rose up roughly,
Daring time to drag it down.
And the crickets sang forever,
And they sing forever still,
In the little town that always lies
Beneath the brooding hill.
taken from Elementa (Loosey Goosey Press, 2008) by Faith Goble