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SOMETIMES WHEN SHADOWS FALL

Sometimes when shadows fall across the ridges
Spirits conjure up images from the foggy valleys
Rapidly fading memories of mountain life yesterday.
Majestic crests still whisper hidden secrets of the past--

Escapes from Trails of Tears, wretched poverty,
Melungeon peoples and marrying into respectability.
Nestled in the hollows were the tiny one-room schools
Holding out the only hope of a better life someday,
Backwoods holy-rollers, sometimes snake-handlers,
Offering salvation to the faithful and the brave.

A new generation will someday gaze upon the hills
Remembering only, I suspect, that their parents fled
Played-out mines, wasted timberlands, failing farms,
And made for them a different life in faraway places
With large, consolidated educational centers
And mega-churches hoisting magnificent steeples.

Sometimes when shadows fall across the ridges
Spirits conjure up images from foggy valleys
Rapidly fading memories of mountain life yesterday.
Majestic crests still whisper hidden secrets of the past.

Copyright © LMILTON HANKINS

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