House by the Creek – by Brenda Kay Ledford

Uncle Bill’s house overlooked
Hyatt Mill Creek in the Matheson Cove.
Cousins went skinny dipping,
picked blackberries on the banks,
fished for trout beneath a Harvest Moon.

Aunt Rena planted a vegetable garden
and raised flowers beside the creek:
sunflowers stretched toward tender skies,
a butterfly bush perfumed the crisp air,
cosmos twirled on sunbeams.

Uncle Bill rocked on the front porch,
spat tobacco juice over the banister,
wove stories about his hound dogs
chasing coons over Shewbird Mountain.

My daddy forded the creek
in his old black Ford pickup
when we visited kinfolks,
the young’uns swung over
the stream on grapevines.
My cousins left the Matheson Cove,
found jobs in the city.
The old folks passed away.

Land developers ripped tin from the roof,
tore the old house down,
piled lumber beside the creek;
shoveled dirt on our heritage.
Two years, ten years,
newcomers will ask:
Who lived here?
Where are they now?


Brenda Kay Ledford is a member of NC Writers’ Network. Her work has appeared in many journals. Aldrich Press published her poetry book, Crepe Roses, that won the 2015 Paul Green Award from NC Society of Historians in 2015.