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Wanda L. Harrell

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Old Bill
by Wanda L. Harrell

Sunday, June 27, 2010
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Wanda L. Harrell
•  I Shall
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           >> View all 210

2010, Wanda L. Harrell
A poem about my great grandfather and the mountain farm in North Carolina where he's buried.

Kissing clouds and soaring high over the other peaks

is the towering mountain summit known as the Roan.

In its shadow is an unseen narrow dirt road that leads

to the decrepit ruins of my long gone family’s home.


On or near these peaks, my paternal ancestors once lived,

their souls fled to Heaven, and their bones now spend eternity.

Although most think it is just a dilapidated mountain farm,

those grayed and antiquated house ruins gently console me.


On this mountainside land, Bill and Celia lived their lives,

tending and farming the now stark and fallow acres of earth.

Here they built a plain, but sturdy house for their children

and the Harrell generations waiting in Heaven for birth.


Within walls once straight and tall and made of sturdy poplar,

parts of two generations of Harrell babies were long ago born.

There was no front lawn as we know it; every bit of land was used,

so instead of grass and flowers, grew tall stalks of golden corn.


For reasons that now seem quite difficult to understand,

my branch of the Harrell family decided to move far away.

So, decades ago, my family left their mountainside farm,

leaving behind a house that has fallen into pitiable decay.


Family, the farm and the house were my great grandfather’s pride,

and now he’s the only one there, left behind, hidden up on a hill.

The Harrell farm is where he’s buried; it’s the final resting place

of the tall and conscientious man they simply called old Bill.




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