On entering his writer’s study
As the gargoyles fell off the shadowy sinews of his mind
Like fish scales

He heard that voice again
From deep in the earth
Beneath the ancient oaks
Amidst the ghosts of the Confederacy

Surrounded by groves
Of freshly peeled tangerines
The juice so sweet
Effusing orange aromas
Like the memories of walking down to Hancock Lake
Smelling the dirt beneath our feet
Sharing sacred family histories

That voice again
Now lucid
Now as luminous as this morning’s monster moon
Echoes out of a makeshift wooden box
So long underneath the earth without a marker
Carry on,
Carry on

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, January, 2017
Happy Birthday Dad

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