If night is our last address,
This is the place we moved from,
Backs on fire, our futures hard-edged and sure to arrive.
These are the towns our lives abandoned,
Winds in our faces,
The idea of incident like a box beside us on the Trailways seat.
And where were we headed for?
The country of Narrative, that dark territory
Which spells out our stories in sentences, which gives them an end and beginning…
Goddess of Bad Roads and Inclement Weather, take down
Our names, remember us in the drip
And thaw of the wintry mix, remember us when the light cools.
—Charles Wright from “Appalachian Farewell” in Scar Tissue (FSG, 2006)
(To ends and beginnings. Best wishes for 2014, everyone.)