by Janice Harris
Dad got "the call"
We sold our quiet-street green home,
backyard apple trees,
embodiment of the American Dream
and moved to borrowed property
a parsonage, not our own.
My brother, born that same year,
never knew neighborhood,
the new place edged in the distance
only by one other dwelling.
But the hills--across the highway,
beyond the field, compensated,
a quiet line with no aspirations
to be their craggy mountain cousins.
I grew in the spaces,
free to roam the neighboring woods,
hindered, sometimes aided, by the expectations
of a congregation,
grateful for room to breathe.
What I am today finds its roots
in the sweep of that transition.
Janice Harris lives in Somerset, Kentucky. She is a graduate of Berea College and Eastern Kentucky University. Her writings have appeared in such collections as Appalachian Women's Journal, Kudzu magazine, and Poetry as Prayer: Appalachian Women Speak. She's going to be a grandmother for the first time later this year.
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