"Appalachian Memories," a poem by Gene Kimmet

Updated: Mar 24, 2019

Appalachian Memories

Hairpin turns in old cars

With bad brakes, the reek

Of whiskey. Tacky towns

With tilted streets, young girls

Giggling on corners, sullen boys

That spit as I walk by.

Dark climbing out of hollows,

Sleepless nights in railroad towns,

Bare floors in cheap hotels, all night

Rumble of trains, the lonely shrill

Of steam echoing across ridges

That hemmed the narrow valleys.

At twenty it was all adventure.

Now time has worn away that high

That hones the edge of danger.

Fear, patient in the shadows,

Creeps in to take its turn,

Like a dark mold spreading

Across a bright canvas.


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