Liz McGeachy lives in Norris, Tennessee, where she is a free-lance writer of poetry, essays, articles, and a monthly fictional column about living in a small town. She is also the director of the nonprofit Appalachian Arts Craft Center in Norris and performs traditional and folk music with her husband, Tim Marema, under the name Liz & Tim.


Yellow Beets, End of Summer


I stand at the kitchen window,
blade in hand, listening
to the guitar’s repeating
three-chord tune drifting
from my son’s room above,
watching my daughter twirl
at the edge of the yard,
arms and fingers long,
brushing purple sky.

I stand a while
before turning back
to the halved root,
meaty in my hand,
bright saffron rings
circling a golden heart,
know for a moment
I hold the sun.




Jet Lag


You call with your heavy news so
I leave the land of yellow cottonwoods
and lightning-lush skies to drag
the long chain of hours flying
into your last days.

Arriving at your doorstep I look at
my sandals still pale with prairie dust
and slip them off like you taught me.
The laden mimosa by the backdoor
lolls in the moist air –

limp, unsure, like the laden limbs
of my confused body caught between
one land and another, between
a familiar world with you in it,
and another one to come.






In April we sleep
with windows open.
A corner of eyelet curtain
fingers the breeze
slipping in on night’s
honeysuckle sigh.

On Fridays, the vroom
of the stockcar track
two miles away comes too,
the singsong voice
on the PA, the tinkle
of crowd.

At eleven, just
as we are drifting off to sleep,
the track closes down
and folks go home.

but the pale hoot
of barn owl
and silent lullaby
of stars.


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