Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Poem Set in April in Floyd County, Kentucky

April on Right Beaver
Floyd County, Kentucky

In early April,
head north along Right Beaver
from Caney Creek to Wayland . . .

Our winter hearts bloom forth
amid the slagheeps and junked cars,
the garbage on the creek banks.

Out from our heartbreak,
a piercing beauty of dogwood
a riot of redbud in impossible bloom
limn the twisting road for miles.

On the steep hills over the creek
sarvis trees in full flower shine through
the early spring gray,
remind of another era
when circuit-riding preachers held “sarvices”
for the winter’s dead
(and we have felt like the winter’s dead!).

This exuberant beauty peaks in Passion Week,
and we know both our wounds and our healing,
our blood, his blood, and this surprising grace--

Our lives so filled up
brim over with sorrow, pain
gratitude and beauty

all mixed and blended and tossed together;
Who can view this beauty, who can live it,

without weeping and singing

Robert M. Coughlin / April 4, 1999]

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