Chasing Butterflies - Poem by Jackie Allen
Untouched by color, other than
from Mother Nature’s own hands,
the ramshackle shack still stands
bereft in memory, tethered
to a time and place that great wealth
never, ever embraced.
Perched upon stilts, its back up
against the mountain, its walls papered
with fading pages from the newspaper’s
Daily Telegraph, the same evidenced
by its weathered and tattered face,
the calendar has painted its centennial portrait.
Filtering through the coal dusted windows,
hope glimmers with a welcome invitation
to the bright sun weeping at the sight
of the ramshackle shack and honors,
pays homage, to the silent remains
of what is left of the sight.
Blue, the sleeping dog rests on the porch
as if from a long night of possum hunting;
and below, the Norfolk and Western meanders
down the snaking railroad tracks,
huffing and puffing and raining soot
from its steam powered engine.
Barefoot, with a feed-sack apron tied
around her adolescent waist, a young girl
chases butterflies from an old wive’s tale,
hoping and praying at least one might alight
onto her dress, thus granting her wish,
her dreams, to finally come true.
Clickety clack, clickety clack, the train
races on down the tracks, the engine
spewing its coal and black, as dark
as a starless night's canvas, while those
below, in passenger cars, well, they
never bother to look back.
The ramshackle shack still stands, bound
to memory: it remains as in a dream, tied
to a place and time many have forgot.
But to the few who do remember,
its face is still untouched by color, except
that which comes from love's poetic pen.
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