They waited for me before they took him. I closed the car door, slogged past family, noted the numbed, distant faces and swollen, zoned eyes; passed the old country roses, sweet and sundry; passed his hand-crafted shed that smelled of fresh cedar, heard the bustle of birds all around, aflutter.Continue Reading

With trepidation; I approached my childhood Appalachian home, a shack really, high above the railroad tracks.  The sole remaining object was the toilet, standing forlorn among the broken shards of rotten wood. A toilet, ironically, that we were never allowed to use, when there was a perfectly good leaf availableContinue Reading

Sometimes situations interrupt what a person has planned. Repercussions are felt in several areas, like a faceted, imperfect jewel. As Chief Editor of Appalachia Bare, I have planned so many things this year, and, hopefully, they will all work out just fine. But a recent event occurred that put aContinue Reading

Losing him at the instant of diagnosis, leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind but hers, his grandmother watched You wink from view until no more than a grainy dot on the horizon’s last glorious performance of the Great Withdrawal. The picture of a small girl insisting on her way thisContinue Reading

Christmas Eve 2018 A clock tick away from thirty my grandson lowers onto a chair beside me where we stare at the curious chiaroscuro of Christmas lights blinking in a pattern as undetectable as the reasons for his diagnosis. He sips air with the feeblest exertion of swamp-diseased lungs. SomeContinue Reading

He was pale. Wrapped in a stark white blanket, cold and blind. The mother lay, one leg uncovered on top of the sheet, sweat dried along her forehead, resting from some sixteen hours. The child un-held. There was a father, outside in the desert cold, smoking. A witness to whatContinue Reading

My grandson, Joshua Bathe, passed away last April after being diagnosed with an aggressive cancer five months earlier. The following is my poetic tribute to him.             Elegy to a Grandson           Grief undulates           like an inchworm           and just as slowly.           It forces one to use           the conditional tense:             HeContinue Reading