by Alex Alford


Once, when I was younger, I lost my way in the woods.

Those Alabama pines were there long before me.


                        Those Alabama pines will be here long after me.

                        I found my way home by listening to the wind.


I know I am home when I listen to the wind

carrying the tune of a creaking pew and a hushed hymn.


                        I carry this place around in my head, a constant hushed hymn;

                        a melodic chain, linking me to our history.


I’d like to think we aren’t chained to our history,

but I grew up with a shotgun in the closet.


                        All my skeletons are holding shotguns in the closet.

                        I have spent my life trying to know this place.


Will I waste my life trying to know this place?

Soon, when I am older, I will find my way out of the woods.


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