Tag: Delaney Brandon

Apple Moons

For Domby

soft crumbs of salted crackers peppered

              across the wooden surface, where grandmother

                            sits at the table. red nails

              grip the glossy flesh of the gala and she raises it to her lips.

I can smell the wet saltiness of the softened saltine,

              she swallows – crepe skin undulates as she moves. grandmother

                            stands at the apple tree, scarlet gems hanging,

              swaying in Alabama summers, crooked feet in the feathery grass

mash the spoiled fruit into the clay. grandmother

              lays in the bed, wisps of white curl on the sheet

                            and crimson nails nestle in the linen – apple moons curdle

              on paper and crumbs soak in the unfermented wine.

Zip Code

Follow the curves, the zigzagging road,

It twists just to shake you up.

And the church on the hill is new again

Here, the life leaks into the farm land,

The interstate liquor stores and the overnight churches.

West Hills, South Side,

College Hills, The Journey,

Immanuel and St. Francis

Brick temple after brick temple full of flocks

Looking for their home.

            ~ —– ~

If you circle the Square, and drift down the highway,

Past every gas station on each street corner,

And just above Sinking Creek,

You’ll find a community entirely overlooked,

Hiding on Tater Peeler road.

Here, the Wilson County Fairgrounds half gleam in the renovated sunlight.

Here, there is no difference between tarmac and dirt,

Both line roads, and tires, and floor boards, and shoes.

Here, visitors try to squeeze through a lane too small for everyone,

Crossing a bridge shouldn’t be that hard,

But the locals know which side of the road to drive on.

We follow the curves, the zigzagging road,

It twists just to shake you up.

And the church on the hill is new again

… and it’s still white after all the ash…

The Trail

You speak in the tremble of leaves,

the whispered crunch of maple settling in the grass

I hear you in the cries above me, as the geese

        are flying west.

There isn’t much farther to go, and you and I,

end here where broken trails reign incomplete.

Your soil fed by salt water, marching through your heart.

The ruins dot your highways, and no one stops to picture

their ancestors nestled in dirty, crumbling cocoons,

        sleeping beneath our feet.

Crying out from the white clay that we remade,

the red, the native, the Tennessee: erased. 

Your cedar and pine burn in cast iron shells, life

and death in the light which brands our shadows.

The memorials now are rusted steel on road sides.

        Today will never know

how bare feet beat your flesh, like drums against the earth

as the melody of the broken was forged on your body.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN