ABOVE SNICKER’S GAP ~ Morgan Golladay

Well, me’n Rose t’other week
rode west, over to her home place 
to see family and friends.

Right there, at what she called Snicker’s Gap, 
just at the peak of the Blue Ridge,
the highway begins its decline to the valley floor.
I never tire of watching the distant blue haze 
suddenly appear through the green 
that sprawls across the mountains.

Rose said, “My family is old. 
Been in these parts for hundreds of years.
There’s something in the soil
that brings us back, even generations later.
A hundred and fifty years ago 
family left, walking to Ohio, 
looking for safety and new land,
free from the wildness of war and the Burning.
Time and space
haven’t lessened their belonging
or the roots to these people
and hills they left behind.
The valley is in their blood,
just like it’s in mine.
And there’s this feeling I get
that I can’t describe, sorta like Christmas 
and birthday and family all rolled up into one.
It says Home.”
We laughed and chatted the rest of the way,
But there was a peculiar smile on her face,
And a quiet in her voice.