Appalachia: My Poetry and My Home

by bryan maynard


My attempt at writing: here goes. Starting with a picture of the place where I grew up.

“When the rain falls in the hills at springtime, the wind carries the smell of moss and pine, and you can feel the earth relax like the pause between breaths. After the rain stops and the leaves on the ground are still wet, the opossum come out because the wet leaves don’t make a rustling sound. This is the poetry I read as a child in the hills of Appalachia. We were coal miners and tobacco farmers, and when we talked we sounded like Bluegrass music set to conversational cadence. The weather and the sky grafted us into their rhythms and cycles, and those hills and valleys wrote their way into our history as a people. The whole thing was poetry to me, tragic and beautiful.