SEE ROCK CITY

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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.

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