The Burial

Photo by Isaac Weatherly on

The Burial

I took off my soggy bottomed moccasins for the last time today.

Through wet, saggen pine straw, up a funneling hill

Toward a destination unknown, which has become an identity for me.

Around the bend in the mountain road,

Marked by lost wildflowers and misplaced Kudzu

Into a Southern cemetery where the graves give off a cryptic beauty.

I buried my moccasins in the soggy wet ground,

These tired rotting shoes that had carried me across the world.

Lives seem to fall like helicopters from the easy blown trees

Blowing toward the forlorned and and beaten road.

It’s magical to  watch erasing the prayers of your God or another.

Things just fall so effortlessly with grace.

Gravity has a beauty when you watch it that is not easy to explain.

The sky bulges with clouds aching like a hungry stomach.

Overwhelmed it begins to speak through the rain.

I felt wet, casual, safe, sane. Sitting there without shoes

With the weary eyes of the broken commuter.

Walking past Soldiers graves that died in the name of revolution,

Gives the idea of running for shelter some sort of hilarity.

Soaking wet, muddy I pass through the graveyard

With the hot breath of a holy dove

Beating hard down upon me.

I will not return. I leave this town tomorrow.

I could carve my name into some rotting bark,

Tag my name under some small creek bridge-

I knew Tennessee was where I would finally bury the shoes that had carried me 

Across this country attempting to find a more peaceful resting place.

Now they will forever have the protection of Tulip Trees & Cucumber Magnolias,

Next to flowering Bee Balm, Flame Azaleas, and hardy Orchids.

Secured by the redeeming southern breeze

That slowly knows how to move in and touch you at just the right time.

Most of all, I wanted them to have the music

That made them dance so many nights-

From blues to gospel to twang

My moccasins danced away the red dirt clay of the day

Giving me some of the best nights of my life.

The imprint of my youth sealed in those dirty moccasins

Muddied by roving and wandering, searching this country,

Only to find, the only place they could ponder eternity.

I leave them here with you, Tennessee, 

Because I know there will always be a part of me here too.

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