Read more poems by Ron Rash: Ron Rash Poems at Poetry X.
Between Wytheville, Virginia and the North Carolina line, he meets a wagon headed where he's been, seated beside her parents a dark-eyed girl who grips the reins in her fist, no more than sixteen, he's guess as they come closer and she doesn't look away or blush but allows his eyes to hold hers that moment their lives pass. He rides into Boone at dusk, stops at an inn where he buys his supper, a sleepless night thinking of fallow fields still miles away, the girl he might not find the like of again. When dawn breaks he mounts his roan, then backtracks, searches three days hamlets and farms, any smoke rising above the tree line before he heads south, toward home, the French Broad's valley where spring unclinches the dogwood buds as he plants the bottomland, come night by candlelight builds a butter churn and cradle, cherry headboard for the bed, forges a double-eagle into a wedding ring and then back to Virginia and spends five weeks riding and asking from Elk Creek to Damascas before he finds the wagon tethered to the hitching post of a crossroads store, inside the girl who smiles as if she'd known all along his gray eyes would search until they found her. She asks one question, his name, as her eyes study the gold smoldering there between them, the offered palm she lightens, slips the ring on herself so he knows right then the woman she will be, bold enough match for a man rash as his name.
Added: 7 Apr 2002 | Last Read: 22 May 2013 7:48 AM | Viewed: 3161 times