I was born of chaos and panic,
eventually learning to settle like
the gray soapstone dust
covering the gravel road and
clinging to my bare sweaty legs.
I come from emerald soapstone quarries
where secrets sink like old leather boots,
truth rusts around tin beer cans,
and hope hides in the murky bottom.
I am of jack rocks and flint arrowheads
basking in deep red clay, Black-eyed Susans
growing rampant in the hay fields, and
treasures buried beneath splintered barns.
I am of splattered rain on slated roofs,
daffodils sprouting on garbage heaps,
Confederate money stashed in attic walls.
I am the stepping stone crossing the creek.
I am the freedom forged by the blood
of the grandmothers before me, the sweat
of the grandfathers who toiled the fields.
I am the dirt beneath their nails,
the prayer of an easier life;
and I am their dream.
I might even be the contemplation of the sun
as it stretches from the sky to warm the earth
and glistens upon the waters of life.
I do know I used to run the creek,
and now the creek runs through me.