Posts Tagged ‘Backwoods story’

Samuel Smyth Had Returned to Fight

December 13, 2014

Samuel Smyth Had Returned to Fight

A whiskered screech owl kept watch all through the night
Oer the man’s battled skirmish sleep
His now grown Samuel Smyth had returned to fight
No longer a’chicken-rat’ fleeing like a cowardly sheep
He’d cast away his ‘skunk-bit’ conscience
Come back to avenge Pa’s backwoods malevolence
Just as mornings rosey hews broke softly through the trees
The wizened owl shook feathered wings
Announced the days life with a raspy Tuh whoo, Tuh whee
Stirring Samuel to arise from his woeful fog slings

An orioles sweet warble sang glad tidings
Nearby in brambled thicket a liver spotted fawn lay hiding
Thirsting the milk coming with his mothers arrival
The forest fairly teemed with awesome beauty
Concealing its inhabitants fight for daily survival
An illusion he compared to his rag compelled duty
He tread Scarlet-eggs pondering the task set afore him
Like a stream always runs in a southerly direction
He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt
His paw would a not changed nary a bit
And like all God’s creatures he drew forth his wit

He thought of Ma in a frayed and patched rag of a dress
Struggling to keep a smile in place
Amidst Pa’s daily misery doled bruises and stress
And fair flower Sissy of rosey cheeks and dew fresh face
Deflowered in her first season by that ‘No Count’ varmint
He wanted freedom for ma and her doe eyed daughter
Each forced to carry daily a load of drudgery’s torment
Whilst a fretting the nightmares of each day after
They’s each knew fer sure he’d come home rabid
No living thing was safe when Pa waz drink addled

His pa he minded is the orneriest man ever be
He’d wrestle a bear just cause he could
Charge the Pine Hollows Tavern;looking would he
To battle six good mountain men like they waz sticks o wood
Pa stood six foot four, grizzled and seasoned with pure mean
His loves moonshine, hounds and a lay’n up, his ever scene
He cussed the preacher man with vehemence
Women folk were the bottom of his bucket
He shivered just studying on each remembrance
His Pa still sent yellow dog fleas scratch’n his basket

Tuck’n his thoughts under his straw hat
He gazed out across the beauty of the mountain*
Prickles of fear showed quail as he fought for grit
Even the flowers, insects and trees seemed to ken
Today waz fix-in to be a showdown twixt he and him
He’d left home beaten so badly he’d had to crawl
All the while knowing iffy he returned it’d be a brawl
One of them would be laid down in the lilies

Marching tall he walked the now quiet lull
To an old ramshackle cabin dying from neglect
It’s patched roof sloped catching hold to the mountain wall
The briar roses twining round keeping it barely intact
A mangy dog to lazy to stir slept sprawled on its porch
Just a thin wisp of smoke curled from the chimney stack
Giving notice that a body lived here and he couldn’t turn back
Up on the porch each step creaking with determination
Time seemed to shackle his progress to a stall
Gritting he entered to stop dead in his tracks at what he saw

The giant man of his nightmares was no longer there
In his stead a skeleton, with sunken eyes and molty hair
Lying moldered in his own vermin
He gazed at Samuel and slowly grinned
“Came back to see me did ya?”
“I’m dying now, as you can see.”,
He grinned and laughed satanical, and drank a dram of dew
And Samuel’s slow burn crawling up his shaking spine
Disappeared as that old man coughed mold-green spew
The once chicken-rat turned and left his nightmare behind

(clarice) 03/13/2011

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