Source, George Washington National Forest



The Blood-Tie                                                                            



My grandfather lifted my grandmother up

from where she clung to stones in the dank shaft                     

of the well, he clinging to the rope, his small body

fear-hardened, lifted with a furious grip        

up from the ice-black water her who held in one arm

their son and only child yet, first-born with

honey curls, toddler in a white dress, baby boy

who had fallen there where the packed stones’ moss

was barely green in filtered light, where

water-singing had drawn him, while above their heads

the sky was a blue, bitten wafer; lifted her up,

arms welding the shrieking child to her breast,                          

his life theirs, and heaviest, yet light                                           

as the caught stars in her Cherokee hair,

its stout trunk wound in his fist:                                                

lifted up by the thousand roots,                                                

sinew, vessel, bone and gene, the million

filaments, the blood-tie.




                                             in Louisiana Literature

                                             & in The Mind’s Eye (textbook), Kevin Clark, Longman, 2008

                                             & in Color Documentary