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In my continuing tradition, a couple of images from the road......


The leaves had early fallen from the big sweetgum tree, and the old straight-back chair sat in a tiny patch of late afternoon sunlight that the bare limbs could not deny. It was the last of it's lineage; a wedding present of four, with their little table, almost fifty years past. Upon it's legs were the scuffs and scars of six children a-rearing. It's joints were all loose, and the cane seat was tattered and stained.

It's legs remembered the toddler who teethed on them upon the warm kitchen floor. The ladder-rungs of it's back recalled the touch of the silk brocade on the dresses when the girls, grown to brides, posed there for wedding pictures, the ebony glow of their faces shining amid the white folds of cloth.

The sagging seat had twice been repaired with green twine by the old man; good enough to hold the weight of one end of the pine coffin where they laid him on a grey winter's evening. And good enough to hold the weight of the old woman, when she comes out to sit in pea-shelling time. Perhaps her hands will touch the tooth marks, perhaps her skin, now as dark and smooth as the mahogany itself, will too, recall the rustle of lace. Perhaps, she will call back all the memories, just for a moment, swirling about her like long-ago children, laughing among the fallen leaves in afternoon sun.


Down here where the land falls away towards the river, there are no plastic flowers. No manicured hedges, no fancy wrought-iron fences. Here, in the bottom of the field stand the old stones. Their faces are mottled with the grey of age, their bases crumbling with dampness.

Down here, no one still comes on autumn afternoons to run their fingers over the letters of a long-ago namesake. No one kneels to hear the whisper of grass, to gather in hand a caress of soil. Tears of anguish have long dried upon the stones, cries of grief have long ceased to echo among the bare limbs of ancient trees.

I sit beside a tiny marker and place my hand on the little lamb carved above the words, "Beloved Son". The wind comes up from the water and carries the sound of a young couple, like me, stealing away here for the solitude. They walk hand in hand, and their laughter among through the forgotten stones.


Mark not the spot where you lay me deep

Set no stone upon my head

In the bottom land let me sleep

Where wild grass grows and lovers tread.


-- Lon Frank (, November 13, 2000



"They walk hand-in-hand, and their laughter rattles among the forgotten stones."


-- Lon Frank (, November 13, 2000.

Thanks Lon, & welcome back to the bin.

{Clever use of eve's trick to bump your thread into the recent answers column}.

-- flora (***@__._), November 13, 2000.

YAY!!!!! Glad you're back, Lon; you were definitely missed!!!

These, as always, are beautiful -- and sorely needed right now!!

-- Patricia (, November 13, 2000.

As usual, excellent, Lon! Any further thought on putting together a book? ('Twould be a crime if you don't.)

-- CD (, November 13, 2000.

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