Sunday, August 10, 2014

from Low Country, to Upcountry, to High Country

into the hills. . .

I’ve explored the Low Country of South Carolina 
enough to have a taste for its beauty:
the land dark with fertility and history,

Spanish moss above where alligator can venture,

and I have felt of how the air can swallow you in the summer,
my father loved this land that bore and raised him,
yet he needed to leave to seek a new beginning,
like being born from the womb,

he went to college at Furman in the Upcountry,
where, if he looked north, the land reached toward the cool of heaven,

today I drive from Furman into the high country,
as foothills roll with more and more enthusiasm
toward a horizon rimmed by uplifting mountains
whose green distance darkens toward blue,

Daddy followed possibility into East Tennessee
and settled away from the Low Country,

though every June, like salmon returning home,
we’d retrace his path across the mountains
and back into the Low Country,
all the way to the beach at Edisto,

today I want to feel the land my father knew
as he opened himself into more
than what the heaviness of the past wanted to allow.

by Henry H. Walker
July 28, ’14
images courtesy of Google Images

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