For My Father (subtitled For My Father (subtitled "First Loves; Greeneville, Tn")

pencil and watercolor
10"× 14"

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"...I am peaches in September and corn from a roadside stall.
I'm the language of the natives, I'm a cadence, and a drawl.
I'm the pines behind the graveyard and the cool beneath their shade.
Where the boys have left their beer cans
I am weeds between the graves.

My porches sag and lean with old black men and children.
My sleep is filled with dreams; I never can fulfill them.
I am a town.

I'm a church beside the highway, where the ditches never drain.
I'm a Baptist like my Daddy, and Jesus knows my name.
I am memory and stillness
I am lonely in old age
I am not your destination
I am clinging to my ways
I am a town.

I'm a town in Carolina, I am billboards in the fields
I'm an old truck up on cinderblocks, missing all my wheels
I am Pabst Blue Ribbon, American,
And 'Southern Serves The South'
I am tucked behind the Jaycee's sign, on the rural route

I am a town
I am a town
I am a town

From "I Am A Town" , Mary Chapin Carpenter. (1992)

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