Thursday, August 16, 2012



In a forty-house town
sheltered by two mountains,
the children age
and make more children,
and all down the line
the children are made
to promise the elders:
keep this land.

When you pass
through the valley,
a visitor,
you look down
at the glowing houses,
thinking, here, I could be free.


  1. Dichotomy pools in the valley.

  2. Wonderful! I feel this one especially, having gotten hooked on those reality shows about the ex-Amish, Hutterites and Gypsies. The drama of all those series' is the harsh shunnings and punishments meted out to the young ones for trying to embrace the modern world by, say, going to college, dating instead of getting married at 16, or driving a car. Those kids see our lives in a much more magnificent light than we see them ourselves, and we look at theirs as some form of primal solitude. That is for each of us the God inside honoring what doesn't hold us in fear.

  3. It seems that way at first glance until you walk into the coffee shop and see all eyes examining you...I know, it happened to me : )

    There is no escape, must get tough to be free...

  4. So true! I think it's similar to when a kitty cat curls up in a box. Containment seems freeing, until the walls start closing in.

  5. Goodness, that photo looks like favorite place in Alaska. I think I know exactly what your heart felt like when you wrote this -- a big part of me thinks there is a place out there that will complete me. LOVE this one, Hannah.

  6. Reading this poem, I think of Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains, and the sense of peace I feel, driving through or hiking to the settler's houses, as a visitor, wondering how it would feel to live in that time.

  7. I like this a lot. When it comes to idealizing other places, esp. small towns, I'm so very guilty of doing just what the poem lays out.

    Hannah, again thanks for the rec. I just read the Billy Collins, and it seems almost complete fluff--and somewhat long-winded fluff--compared to F. Wright's. Too harsh?


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