EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARD: Bringing some of my favorite previously-published poems back to the front page.
Poetry by William Rieppe Moore
I hated them that give my Pa
a hard case of the whooping cough.
We had to aspirate his vomit
with an empty can of Sterno beside
the bed. He couldn’t even drink.
He threw it right back up. Between
fits he swore the waters of the Rocky Fork
were the cleanest in the world;
So clear that you can see your soul,
but you gotta look close.
Water that’s set on the shelf
all night is dead, not fittin’ to wash
or cook or drink much less.
But the waters of Rocky Fork
have got no place to rest.
I remember Mama tinkerin’
with the skillets, she said
He’ll take some fatback;
it sizzled like the rain upon the roof.
It’s always worked before;
and sure enough it did.
But I still won’t forgive
them that treated Pa the way they did.
About the Poet
William Rieppe Moore is from Richland County, South Carolina and moved to Unicoi County, Tennessee in 2012 with his wife, Cherith, where he practices homesteading and animal husbandry. He is enrolled at East Tennessee State University pursuing an MA in English. His work has been published in “Still: The Journal” and “Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.”
Enjoyed this down home and honest poem thoroughly, especially the powerful voice of the main character.