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I see them, my ancestors
standing silent around me
trees on the mountain
silent shapes in morning fog
gray mist heavy on their leafy shoulders

Reduced to names and dates
Census data
birth, and death records ~ like rain and wind
winter passing into summer
into winter

Rain and wind and cold
babies born
with little fingers and toes
and loved ones buried
in mountain mist, hearts heavy
bleeding worry regret

strong trees surrounding
unmoving knowing… me.
offer shade and rest,
leaning strength
rising digging deep immovable
in West Virginia earth

Two hundred years of wind
whispered through leaves

This voice is not my own alone
I sing your breeze brushed lament
your green melody
older than the loamy grit between our roots