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Ken Slone
Fall Storm on an Indian Summer Sunday Morning

I HAVE TO TILT MY CHAIR BACK
Not too far so as to see only sky
But far enough to see colors falling
In the wind, from the wind through
The high canopy

Which is lifting from the falling
Exposing gray sky.
Thunder rides on the back of the wind
Announces like the too late morning warmth
The change signaled from yesterday’s low arcing sun.

I have to be out here to listen
To the train on the wind,
Wait for the coal train’s
Chalkboard screech.
It sounds as if it is riding on tracks transplanted
from Big Sandy riverside to our mountainside.

Why we fear change
Is because we fail to notice
Its apex
Loud and orange and yellow
And smelling of wood smoke.

I look forward to the loss of
Canopy – many-shaded green.
The sky will not forever remain gray.
Tomorrow with my head tilted so
I may imagine cold and then the snow
and then the new spring green concave dome.

Professor of English Ken Slone received the Great Teacher Award in 1999 for teaching his students to take pride in their Appalachian heritage and to write from their hearts. His book of poetry, At Home in the Mountains, was published in 2001. His book, Mountain Teacher – An Eastern Kentucky Teacher Tells His Story was published in 2005. After earning his graduate degree from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, Ken returned to his home county of Johnson. He is retired from Big Sandy Community & Technical College after a 36-year teaching career. He and his wife Debbie spend winter months on the beach at North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

 

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