I don’t know if SEE ROCK CITY is
still stenciled in white on black
on old red barns along dusty Southern highways.
The old black and white photos weren’t arrows,
more like anchored arks that floated
menageries of tourists to Lookout Mountain
to see miniature Fairy Tale Caverns,
villages of Mother Goose creatures,
a Lover’s Leap with a view that overlooked
the borders of seven states on a clear day.
Hidden inside was a falls that turned
red, green, black, orange and holiday colors
on Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s, Halloween
and Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The last two miles were a treacherous thrill ride
up a snaking two lane mountain highway
filled with all the breathless ascent of
a rollercoaster ready to be propelled at its zenith.
The tourist coming down, amped up on
on sugarcoated dreams, soda pop,
rainbow squirts and homemade fudge
dissolving like cotton candy in their mouths,
would dare the descent without a
tap of the brakes, making it the only place
on earth where heaven could collide with hell.
I’m sure those old barns have rotted down,
filling their fields in creosote abandonment.
Perhaps the whitewash of time has eroded
ROCK and even CITY leaving the passing soul
wondering what there is left to SEE.
The dream still exists amidst fairy tale caverns
and meandering limestone/sandstone trails
on the very top of Lookout Mountain
waiting for a family of woodpeckers
to roost in the metal SEE ROCKY CITY
birdhouse hooked to the V of my old oak.