"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cottonwood Seeds

Maggie Elaine was born
to die when the cottonwood
weathered the ground with its seed.

Her blue eyes spoke of the sea,
but she never traveled beyond
the echo of the mountains of West Virginia.

Appalachia hummed through her veins
in a coal song of father and brothers
grinding out a living in pix axe swings.

Set in a trap of rainbow dreams
she was an easy catch for a traveling man
who fed her promises while robbing her innocence.

He left telling her he would return
just as soon as his pockets where lined with green
and winter surrendered to the call of a robin.

Nine months of believing a lie birthed a baby girl
on a sunny April day when the cottonwood wind
called Maggie Elaine to her grave in the shadows of a blue mountain ridge.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Over at Real Toads Marian challenged us to write from the inspiration of Tim Eriksen and his music. Real Toads ~ Hardcore Americana


Marian said...

Wow, wow, Susie! Love this. Real, truthy goodness. There's another song this reminds me of... I'll see if I can find it.

Kay L. Davies said...

Fabulous, Susie. No prettying-up what happened here, with life and death so entwined, and yet your words are far, far from harsh and judgmental.

Margaret said...

I LOVE this and.. I am so not one to usually do this... but do you like the ending switched up like this: "blue mountain ridge"

Is this what the song is about? I will have to go listen - He holds the violin so interestingly... I'm sure it is so he can sing as well.

AWESOME poem! Love a story/prose poem.

Vanessa V Kilmer said...

Great story with wonderfully poetic lines.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Such a melancholy tale about an almost forgotten territory, and a lifestyle which is probably fast coming to an end through modernization and young people leaving the mountains for the city life.

Hannah said...

"Her blue eyes spoke of the sea"

Love this line
and I was totally captured into the tale you told...such a great job your descriptions are so poetic and the entirety feels so balanced.

So cool, the video you chose is about 40 minutes away from where I live!! Wish I'd known about him in 2010! :)

Great work!

Susie Clevenger said...

Marian, thanks. Loved the challenge!
@Kay, Thank you. Life is hard in the Appalachian mountains for many who live there.
@Margaret, Thank you and thanks for the suggestion for the change!
@Vanessa, Thank you so Much!
@Kerry, It certainly has and remains to be a tough life there.

Susie Clevenger said...

Hannah, thank you so much. I tried to capture a mood that would do justice to Tim Eriksen's music

Helen said...

Your poem is poignant, sad and incredibly authentic .. like the Americana music that prompted it.

Susie Swanson said...

I really love this poem Susie. You told it like it was. xo

Patricia A. McGoldrick said...

Susie, this poem reads like the lyrics for a tune as it tell this sad story. :)

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