Glen Ayre, North Carolina
My life is revived like a blade
of grass by a drop of rain,
skin cells, no less, by a human
touch—in a word, electric. I turn
at the thunder and wonder if
it will come a waterfall like
Laurel Fork, where charged ions
float to our skin and draw
forth the opposites of them—
a brief reprieve from a curse
akin to fate. Roddle ol a day.
Hedged by wild indigo and mint,
weeds called, Waving in the wind,
I turn again to watch photon
flesh transform into a synthesis
of tiny fronds with waxy skin
from a seed, givin’ grass new life,
that turns to roots again.
Tom Town, Tennessee
Mam used to say, We’re just a few
generations away from them who
knew better. Si Owen knows, but
visitin’ the hospital keeps him
busy enough, and sure enough,
Si wouldn’t be caught dead
there before the squamous cells.
Where the mercy of a mother
is in the secret of a child, I’ll fix
old ways in place, come sun-
shine or gully washer, like the one
that tumbled the flyin’ squirrel to
the u-post with shucky-beans in
dirt leghorns like to bathe in.
Ol’ timers knew better ‘n to kill
a hog without keepin’ to the signs,
knew better ‘n to quail in fear
any other place than here.
It got so warm last winter, Si’s
seedcorn sprouted on cob.
We might as well have known
since woolly worms had grown
brown bandcoats. The shoots
urged the corn’s walls to bloom
like a bank of land fell away un-
retained—unstayed, like that hill
behind the Ole Mountaineer,
that knocked the buildin’ over
to make the upstairs floor fall
by the greenwood sidey. Can you
believe they let those 2nd story
rooms out: they turned into
a cantilever? To stay, from the
ancient word for to situate, spurs
me to see the land settle with
the swift tide of an eager seed.
Fodder shocks line Siam roads as
maize remnants of recent yore, that
rustle in breeze when sap recedes,
though their species had become
so much more than champion
stick weeds they mirror now.
One shock had a booger-lookin’
doll that could keep the scare-
crow’s off like the doll nailed
by the hair inside the door
to the woodshed. That doll
warned the silence, In London
there lived a worthy man, as worthy
a man as ever was known…
That doll was a troll to my
young eyes, but now’s nothin’
more than a joke. It no longer
has the words that prickled me.
William Rieppe Moore, originally from South Carolina, has called Unicoi County, Tennessee, home since 2012, where he and his wife, Cherith, are devoted to homesteading and animal husbandry. He achieved his MA in English from East Tennessee State University in May 2021 and is a published writer, with work featured in publications such as Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, the James Dickey Review, Still: The Journal, Vita Brevis, and Tiny Seed Literary Journal.