Southern State

by Rand Hall

oh my beloved south
where the hair pin turns
are tighter than my ass
as the side of the road opens
to a sheer mountain drop
bald knob, white face, cedar mountain
devils kitchen
where 15 MPH means it
roads wrapped in foliage
open suddenly to reveal
a horizon of mountain crests
stretching up from the earth
like a sleeping woman’s curves
and even at mid-day
the mist snuggles deep in her valleys

i went out west
to new mexico’s orange and blue
but shrunk in that land infertile
without “life support”
god forsaken . . . i ached
to come home to the south
green and alive.
forest so dense
it tries to eat the road

trees breaking through the rock
every inch bursting
with life and water
lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, waterfalls
and rich damp soil
maple, oak, tulip, beech and birch
pines reaching for the sky
seem to grow as i watch

the road clings
to the mountain’s side
wraps around her curves
slips deep into her moist hollows
before climbing to the crest
the valley opens
drawing the breath from my lungs
my eyes to distant hills
while wildflowers and mountain laurel
say “don’t look so far away”

Journal, Volume 2 Issue 1