Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: River (08/31/06)
TITLE: Along the River Road
By Verna Cole Mitchell
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The journey begins early with daylight still asleep
While we travel northward in an urgency of love
To visit both his father and mine
In separate hospitals in the same Ohio city.
The trip is long with sameness
As exits fade to exits on highways interstate.
We choose to take a shorter way,
A different route, along the river road.
This twisting road that’s not so wide
Seems much more solitary.
Its canvass stretches side to side
To show an earlier artistry.
Vast fields of grain sway merrily with dancing goldenrod
As the river, framed by rolling hills, runs along beside us.
The waking sun cuts diamonds bright behind a ferry boat
And glistens on the greening leaves of flourishing tobacco.
Spring flowers splash their colors of pink and white and yellow
To adorn both rusty trailers and stately homes of brick.
Lace foliage decorates the edge of blue-green water front,
Where wooden boats sit idly on docks of concrete blocks.
Old woman and child rock together on a shady front porch
While a shaggy black dog, with head on his paws, lies napping nearby.
Young woman with a shingle in her hand
Straddles precariously a steeply slanted roof.
A village stands in reverent silence
Beside the cemetery of a quaint old church,
Where leaning, broken tombstones
Keep the secrets of the past.
Sleepy little towns with such names as Felicity
Laze dreamily along in lower speed zones.
Sunflowers stretch as tall as the cottage they surround,
And crumbling rock steps climb to a house high on the hill.
The ongoing life of man and nature blend in beauty
To remind us once again
That everything that lives is part of God's creation,
And all of life and death fit rightly in His plan.
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