A Tree Grows in Appalachia

Like us, it’s hard to tell what we are from certain distances,
and even if we could get up close, up on the outside
of the fourth floor, scaling the building to where
the roots commenced, in some miraculous way behind

the brick, like cedars do on cutouts off the side of coal roads
on pure rock where no soil is visible, setting themselves

then turning to trunk now nearly a foot thick
and as permanent as any tree around it appears, stretching

to free light well past the failing gutters, full on summer
green and leafed out round, but unsure of type other

than thriving and surely out of place, making the best
of a rationed situation, of a landscape no one wanted.

Larry D. Thacker’s poetry can be found in over sixty magazines and journals, including Still: The Journal, Poetry South, Mad River Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Mojave River Review, Mannequin Haus, Ghost City Review, Jazz Cigarette, and Appalachian Heritage. His books include Mountain Mysteries: The Mystic Traditions of Appalachia, and the poetry books Voice Hunting and Memory Train, as well as the forthcoming Drifting in Awe. Visit his website at: http://www.larrydthacker.com.

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