Bio Note: For May’s theme of Remembering, I chose to write about my childhood, and the way my family was poised between some of us who grew up in the Appalachian Mountains, and some of us who grew up in a city row house. A few of us experienced both. I have published three chapbooks, the most recent of which is Icarus: Anthropology of Addiction. I am English language poetry editor for Poetry Hall: A Chinese and English Bilingual Journal and I serve on the board of the Council for Wisconsin Writers.
My mother’s father crossed over Blue Mountain to settle in fertile Lancaster County. Every time he walked through the door of our row house a wind of golden leaves would blow in around him swirling his legs and scuttling across the floor. We kids would become beagle pups spinning and bouncing in the yellow torrent then collapsing in a tangled heap our ears perked for stories of abandoned mills and ghosts in the mines. Sometimes my mother would scurry to sweep away Pop-Pop’s fall foliage. Other times she let the leaves just sit where they settled crisping slowly to dust. Every once in a while she’d pick one up maybe a maple leaf thick-veined and blushed with a hint of the devil and press it firm between well-worn leaves of Emily Dickinson’s poetry.
©2021 Sylvia Cavanaugh
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