You can end up feeling helpless and sad for these kids and discouraged about the way their lives go in these small, depressed communities, living in trailers, surrounded by adults who are struggling just to get by, who are organizing their kids' lives around eligibility for SSI. It all feels like the individuals are stuck and that the problems are unsolvable. But poverty isn't inevitable. ...we know the investments in kids' early education, youth engagement, stability of parents' work and income make a difference.
~Cynthia M. Duncan
More poems today from Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia. (Here's a previous post featuring a Listen Here poet.)
First up, "Augury" by Ann Deagon. In a bio, Ann Deagon said that she didn’t begin writing until age forty “when that three-headed dog love death and poetry took me in its teeth and shook me.” Love that!
by Ann Deagon
Tonight my father cupped his hands and blew
into their hollow sphere and brought to life
the long wild resonant cry
of country boyhood, owl-haunted evenings
and the dark modulations of distant hounds,
fluttered his fingers throbbing into memory
those sobbing whistles hunting down the rails
my childhood dreaming in the restless city.
Read the rest here
Next we have "Long Story" by Maggie Anderson. Do read the whole thing! And check out the links below.
by Maggie Anderson
To speak in a flat voice
Is all that I can do.
—James Wright, “Speak”
I need to tell you that I live in a small town
in West Virginia you would not know about.
It is one of the places I think of as home.
When I go for a walk, I take my basset hound
whose sad eyes and ungainliness always draw
a crowd of children. She tolerates anything
that seems to be affection, so she lets the kids
put scarves and ski caps on her head
until she starts to resemble the women who have to dress
from rummage sales in poverty’s mismatched polyester.
Read the rest here
The Appalachian Community Fund
Young Appalachian Musicians
Appalachian Studies Association
Appalachian Law Center
Appalachian Mountain Advocates
Renew Appalachia (Appalachian Transition)
Spellcheck by Anne Shelby
I Used to be a Teacup by Rita Sims Quillen
Amy at The Poem Farm has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Amy!