“Appalachian Memories” by Courtney McQueen

Fatback frying in an old
well-seasoned cast iron skillet
soup beans bubbling
Silver Queen corn with a plate
of sliced tomatoes and onions
on Mrs. Vashon’s table
where we sit for hours
as she tells stories of the past.

Red Spruce trees swaying
in the soft wind whispering
secrets to one another
while the calls of my favorite
birds the Tufted Titmouse
Phoebes and Wrens fill the air
with sweet songs.

Walking down Mulberry Lane
past the Mountain Laurels,
and Touch-me-not each standing
at attention. I stop and gently
appreciate their beauty. Sweet
smells of honeysuckle follow
me as I make my way down yonder
where I run into an old lazy dog
who is doing nothing for the day.

Trading at the mercantile
with the beautiful wood floors
that sing sweet songs
with every step. Men sitting
on the porch, just picking away
the day while barefoot children
chase after lightning bugs.

Those winding roads in
Southern Appalachia always
led me to unexpected joys of life.


Courtney McQueen is an English Professor, writer, historian, and visual artist based in Virginia. McQueen discovered her love for Appalachia making her way through the backroads from Kentucky to South Carolina, birding, and hiking on sections of the Appalachian Trail, Skyline Drive, and The Blue Ridge Parkway. An Oklahoma native, raised in Miami, she now calls Virginia home, and does not plan on leaving. 


Featured image: Jeffrey Erhunse, Unsplash

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