The Wind Reports
Aging and disabled miners, their widows, and a lost generation of people who have never
lived in a viable economy are hanging on, passing time in front of the TV or “settin” on
the porch. Along with mineral debris, the coal companies left behind human slag.
She tells her son that she fell reaching for
her mailbox that wasn’t there. That the wind
snatched his card, kited it down the street.
That she blames the wind on the draglines
eating the hills. That nothing looks right;
where neighbors’ houses should be,
she finds joe-pye-weed, foundation holes.
That the wind over the rubble of the Guyandottes
roars like a rain-swollen creek. That she won’t sell
or leave. That the wind smacks the moon-sized
rock above her house, inches it toward the lip
of the ridge. She doesn’t tell him that her house
whimpers. That the electric candles on her sills
pass messages to airplanes. That the mountains
look like Lizzie’s busted crayons, burnt umber,
olive, broken nubs. That she’s like a vireo egg,
dotted, red-eyed, sure to tumble, to crack.