Jan 27, 2013

Parrott Mountain Road

Population three hundred
and three, with homes 
spread out within the tall
mountain. 
Church of God stands out
proudly as the smaller
Methodist church falls
behind.
Voluntary Fire Department,
half my family gives their
time, where my first birthday
party was held, at age
eighteen, my wedding
reception. 
Many celebrations that
Department has housed,
so has the Church's
Fellowship Hall.
Crossing the two lane
bridge, that used to be 
one lane, welcome to
my town. You'll see the
turn to go up the mountain,
or under the train trestle
on the River Rd. 
Gorgeous river where my
summers are spent, tanning,
teaching my girls to swim in
the same spot my grandfather
taught me.
Trailer serves as the community 
Post Office, it's American flag
flying high in the Appalachian 
wind.

Once a booming coal mine town,
my great grandfather passed
away in these mountains, an
explosion. 
He's lay to rest in the Sifford
Cemetery, with the rest of my
family long passed.
Born in the local hospital,
brought to be raised by
my grandparents, in the first
home they bought, after moving
out of my great grandmother's
homestead as they say.
Gossip can be tiresome in a 
town this size.
Comforting to know the same
people, the elders that have 
known me since birth.

Where I am from, where I still
own my home, just a small house 
with a couple acres land, is the
sorta place you embrace or you
run like hell to find another life.
Can name everyone by name, tell
you who has been to jail, who is 
a reborn Christian. I can tell you
whose boy that is driving too
fast on these curvy roads. 
They all can tell you my secrets
as well. There are no secrets in
a community like this. 
Good or bad, I once ran, but 
came back. 

A lot of history packed in
this place. From before I 
was born to this day.
Used to be a rough town,
even as a child I seen too 
much.
Homegrown being smoked,
moonshine being bought.
People stick together. 
Still to this day have trouble
accepting outsiders, though
times have changed.
River is an attraction now
for folks out of state to fish
and camp. Campground on 
the river bank sure has
good music and people.

A person could grow old
and bitter in a place like
this, with so little to do
and so much time to make
mistakes.
Made my share of them,
with time on my hands.
Love/hate relationship
with this mountain life.
My love for it all, love
for my grandparent's 
memory, love for 
the familiar faces, hiding
places, has kept me 
here thirty six years.
Good ol' country place.
Yet, I have expanded
beyond the confinements
and grown into who I am.
                                            @donetta sifford 1-27-2013

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