The hollow step up the cabin porch gave a plunk.
Creak of knotty pine led to an open door like scripture.
GrandSally’s face, kitchen stove red, her stern smile sunk
Wrinkle lines into her neck. Her aproned self, a gesture
To sit at the oak table for steaming eggs and ham.
Her eyes held stories you prepared yourself to hear.
Come this away Sadie, howled a panther. Sound
Of grieving barge at night on the Tennessee River,
As it chugged by Lady’s Bluff, her scattered bones
Imaged on the rocky shore. Mother of pearl sheened
From mussel shells, an eerie ghost, as the moon shone
Rivulets of current streaming north. Morning dreams
Wake me to Sally’s keening voice. Dead these years—
The hollow step, a door that led to scripture.