Brenda Kay Ledford

Those marketers must have mocked
hillbillies of Southern Appalachia
as they named subdivisions:
Chestnut Cove, Cherrywood, Hickory Hollow,

Poplar Ridge, Pine Grove, Dogwood Drive,
Sourwood Summit, Smoke Rise, and Eagle View.
Their gimmicks drew greedy developers
to clear-cut the virgin timber,

crush the land of the Cherokee,
destroy habitats, wildlife.
They leveled the woods,
uprooted the wildflowers,

stabbed the ridges with roads,
mud bled down the hillsides;
the willow tree wept.
Light oozed through black gum

like bile, creeks reeked with trash,
the Blue Ridge Mountains trembled
as a track hoe sliced the forest
and ground its bones into dust.

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