A dead fight sings a dog,
its growl ransacked like gold.
A dead mansion looks real rich,
coaxed against the sky.
I’m fighting for no other world.
Walk this ridge, you’ll find me
planting some yarrow and mint,
to fool my summer.
Here’s the eroded field,
it fought a shadow, a plow-horse,
sorghum, flax, drought, blackbirds.
I own it like I own a bank vault.
And there’s its old Indian bones
skidded up, and roguish to a flood.
I know they grind the silence
to a ghost’s eye. I know they stay.
Clyde Kessler lives in Radford, Virginia, with his wife Kendall and their son Alan. He is a founding member of Blue Ridge Discovery Center, an environmental education organization in Virginia and the Mountain and Piedmont region of North Carolina.