Friday, March 30, 2012

The 4th House of Home

Walked down to the river around three a.m,  the quiet roar of the surf breaking on the beach just over the dunes. To the east, i can hear the sea buoy outside the inlet, its foghorn echoing the familiar lonesome moan across the water that i have known since childhood, as regular as the ticking of a clock. The forlorn cry of a whippoorwill reminds me that no one is awake but me and my horse; a dark silhouette that snickers at my approaching footsteps and lowers its head to continue grazing. There is no moon, but the glow of a million stars lights the old worn path that my father and grandfather walked for generations. I imagine them walking beside me now, wishing i could shake hands with their ghosts and talk of the times and tides with them. I can see my greatgrandfather herding a stray hog back into the peanut field, mending the split rail fence behind him as he curses the hour and the obstinate nature of the beast. I can picture in my mind the indians who lived here a hundred years before him, roasting their oysters over a fire just as we still do today, hunting deer with bows and arrows and growing their corn and tobacco in the remote meadows of high ground among the swamps. I long for the days of my youth when no houses were in sight of ours; when we walked a mile through the woods to our nearest neighbor along the two deep sandy ruts that granddad told me was a horse and buggy road when he was a boy.

I call out loud for their spirits to come walk with me, but the hollow sound of the foghorn mocks my voice. I wonder why i am still here, toiling this land as they did, a slave to this little piece of earth bound by fetters and chains i willingly forged with my own hands. I am planning my escape, but just as a prisoner relies on his cunning and the complacence of the guards, i must bide my time until others afford me the opportunity to barter away my heritage, my home, my very soul. Then maybe i can reincarnate in another time, another place, another life.

Kenny Gray 
March 30, 2012
Holden Beach NC

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