Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Knob

The Knob
I have a tale to share here
Of a stalwart mountain woman
Who lived with her man nigh on forty years
In a ramshackle clapboard house
Chicken coops, a ramshackle barn
A straggly vegetable patch
Hogwire fencing on gray cedar posts
Front door painted haint blue
Rickety steps with no handrail
Lace curtains blow in the breeze
Clothesline strung from house to shed
An old coon dog and a stray tomcat
Now she was known to be moody
Some days barely spoke a word
He was called a mean 'un around these parts
And got liquored up more often than not
The house sat halfway up a hill
Of the sort you see hereabouts
A hill so steep and daunting
Only goats and sheep would climb it
Through time and season
Pathways will wear at random
As the livestock traipse to and fro
Amidst stones and briars and clover beds
At the top of the hill was a flat top rock
That stood about two feet tall
A perfect place to sit a spell
And take the scenery in
Now this woman was one rather deep
And would brood for days at her plight
Barren of child and bound to her man
Almost drove her insane
From time to time she would go out
And stand in her yard
Staring hard and long towards that rock
Jaw clenched tight in apron and dress
Off up that hill she would start
Slow at first planting her feet firm
Always looking ahead
Then faster still in a steep straight climb
No zigzag paths for her trail were taken
She was a woman on a mission
If one were close enough to see her face
Tear streaked dirt tracks would be there
And trembling lower lip
What put her in such a state might vary
Depending on the day or time
But oh she knew with no doubt at all
Exactly what her day would bring
So off she strode slow at first
Then faster as she went
The last few yards would be at a trot
Until she reached that flat top rock
Then there she would sit in the healing sun
Her face turned to the sky
And bit by bit her rage and pain
Would drift away to the clouds
It is said were it not for the knob
At the top of that hill so steep
Her rage would have grown so hard and hot
No man could have stood in her way
Her life was hard
Her pleasures few
I am sure glad she had the knob
~Ellen Apple 03/20/2014
~Mary Brown, Photographer

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