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.

Delaney Brandon

Delaney Brandon is a junior at Cumberland University earning her bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing. In addition to writing she enjoys sketching and gardening. Her poetry and nonfiction work revolves mainly around her childhood and hometown.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN