Poem Formerly Known as "Ode for Holston Mountain in Spring"
poetry by William Rieppe Moore
Not being able to decide if what we saw
were really ramps or False Hellebore,
we turned back down Holston Mountain Trail
with no more than a fistful of wild onions.
Our forest service road lightly lined
with newgrowth, served you a bouquet
of Daisy Fleabane for an olive-green dye,
but you still feared it was Robin’s Plaintain.
When Dautie picked a Jack in the Pulpit
before its trifoliate leaves had emerged,
I thought to myself, Now there’s a story of leaf
that won’t get freed from the bud.
No longer searching for red trillium—rain
began to fall uninspired by a wave of wind—
I found out that these flowers are just like
folks, and the thunders play with them.
But I still want ramps like I want the winter
to become something I can get off my back,
for wood leeks help me to get feeling better
and turn me again to the land where, I swear,
our shadows unstitched by the overcast sky
got cast beneath leaves beneath leaves,
and the Yellow-throated Warbler that sang by and by
sang some notes that it came by the sea.
William Rieppe Moore is from Richland County, South Carolina and moved to Unicoi County, Tennessee in 2012 with his wife where they practice homesteading and animal husbandry. After receiving his M. A. in English from East Tennessee State University in May 2021, he began teaching high school English in Carter County. His poetry received a Pushcart Prize nomination from American Diversity Report, finalist honors in Driftwood's 2022 In-House Poem Contest, and can be found in James Dickey Review, Still: The Journal, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, Terrain.org, and elsewhere.