I’ve been thinking a lot recently about my old home in Florida where I spent six years of my life. I miss my friends, the weather, and the beach. These are all things that someone might expect me to miss, but sometimes it’s the less obvious that draws you back to a place or time you’ve left behind. I wrote this poem about one of those obscure things.
Hanging by the gas station,
you were there when we arrived.
I had seen you times before,
never thought about you I would scribe.
You led us to the house,
highlighting views on either side.
I’m sure you thought it strange
that I stared the whole ride.
Over the coming years,
closer we would come.
Long walks in the woods
and lying in the sun.
You were there when I needed you
yet you never said a word.
But to hear you speak at all
would have defined me absurd.
You danced when I danced,
but to your own beat.
You danced when I didn’t
to music silent but sweet.
Better would I know you.
About you I would learn.
The more I found about you,
more knowledge I would yearn.
Your name was meant for insult,
but your namers, they’re all gone.
Yet here you are to stay,
especially brilliant at dawn.
You starred in many movies.
Most framed you all wrong.
Your beautiful image they used,
backed by ominous song.
You’ve been in many beds
and seen plenty of Hoodoo,
rode inside cars over the world,
even experienced in Voodoo.
I know you mean no wrong,
you only know how to live.
Out of fondness for you,
this declaration I do give:
Since we’ve met I’ve lived on mountains, I’ve been to the city, and seen places without trees.
And if there’s one thing I know I wouldn’t trade you for snow, steel, concrete or leaves.
I’d love to look on you now.
My heart fires you stoke.
When I pull up to that gas station again
you’ll be draped from cypress and oak.
This I know to be true, sweet Southern Spanish Moss.
I loved living in the South. I have an huge amount of admiration for West Virginia and these mountains I’m surrounded by, (especially in the Fall) but there’s no place like the Deep South. There’s a feeling there that I’ve experienced nowhere else. It’s difficult to explain if you haven’t been.
To me nothing is more Southern than Spanish Moss hanging from a Live Oak. That’s what I picture when I think of my old home and it’s one of the things I miss most. What do you miss about “home?” What do you picture when you think of that one place you wish you were right now? Maybe you’ve never been, but you know it’s where you’re meant to be.
I said I would close every post with a quote, but I think this song is appropriate. I believe I heard someone say this was in the genre of “Swamp Pop.”