Fog, cold-pressed, comes
across the fields.
This early, the fog
spreads itself thick,
sloping into the shape of a fear
we read about Paul Bunyon’s
second cousin, Tony Beaver West Virginian
who walked the length of now
abandoned towns, long-limbed,
across the Appalachians
before they were harvested, these hills,
mined like organs for a black market,
our father repeating his father:
even giants never live forever,
distant before my eyes
withdrawing into themselves.
Each layer of rock tells a different tall tale.
A teacher once told me the Appalachians may have been
some of the first mountains,
located in the center of Pangea,
elongate belts of folded and thrust
faulted marine sedimentary rocks,
volcanic, slivers of ancient
that world whose plates shifted and would not hold
as nothing holds,
as all things return to being
fragments that are, themselves, whole —
return, in the way I am returning
to my village near the coal mines.
Pierce Clifford Brown is a writer and translator. He currently lives in Washington, DC.