by Sandi Keaton-Wilson
STANDING ON CEREMONY
There are more ways
to lose someone
than to a casket in the ground.
Ways, too, that hurt just as much—
There is no ceremony
of two people who’ve lost
what once they found,
or have still, but
feel it isn’t enough
No one brings over pies, chicken,
or loaf bread, sends fresh flowers,
comforting cards or sits
up with you all night handing
you a hanky or just holding you.
There ought to be a funeral
for failures, a natural nurturing
for lonely losers
who’ve known to have
and to have not…
A time to grieve and get it over with,
feel it, deal with it, put it down,
bury it deep and believe
in something better
instead of standing by
an open grave
near a hearse that never leaves.
THE BALLAD OF BETSY LAYNE
In a county called Floyd
Near a place called Betsy Layne
Run the trains to the coalmines
Everyday the route’s the same.
Folks around still remember
Those old tales from many years
Of tragedy that happened
Bringing mourning moans and tears.
A lovely local lady
Met her death upon the rails;
Some heard the engine's whistle,
Others said it was her wails.
They spoke of love and passion
Causing jealousy and rage;
Rumors were of old revenge
For crimes felt still unpaid.
Why she wanders that dread place
Remains mystery today,
For her essence yet lingers
Not able to pass away.
If in darkness you go there
Dare upon the railroad track,
Look oft’ over your shoulder
Someone walks behind your back…
For she as though an angel
In illuminated form—
As sure as life and dying
Watches, keeps you safe from harm.
(Winner of Kentucky State Poetry Society 2nd place in Kentucky Mountain Ballad 2004 and based on area folklore.)
About Sandi Keaton-Wilson
BIO: Sandi Keaton-Wilson is a writer of poetry, prose and plays from
Somerset, Kentucky. She enjoys keeping tradition and dialect alive in her written and spoken works. Credits include Now & Then, Appalachia Journal, Ideals and Writers' Journal. Her most recent success is her play’s (BOUNDARIES) staged reading in New York City during summer, 2007. Read more of Sandi's award winning poems HERE.
USADEEPSOUTH publishes the work of a number of talented Deep South poets.
Click to read one of Terry Everett's beautiful poems, "In April Somewhere in the South."
And here is another: "Uncle Bob's Empire."
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