bells

I've walked through the mist forming in the air
at the moment before a rainfall, 
baptized by the water that carries 
memories of my new, and soon to be old, home;

watched the sun rise over the mountains 
facing my balcony, dangled my feet 
from the ledge of a rock and 
written my name there;

walked past gardens with looming sunflowers
and danced with strangers in a contra hall,
my skirt billowing around me,
feet tripping beneath;

drunk Merlot from monogrammed glasses,
four women
sitting cross-legged in a circle cheering 
the fate that brought us together;

explored caves and feelings, not delving
deep into either in fear of what may I find
clinging to the shadows that 
run from my light;

watched as pain and confusion passed through
a community and rejoiced as they
picked up and moved on,
not forgetting;

read Appalachian folktales by my
phone’s flashlight on rides back from 
rock concerts with friends and
eaten supper at two in the morning;

raised my hands in a crowded church and
moved the Holy Spirit to move me, go on
make me white as snow, oh Lord.
wash me of these sins;

passed notes and whispered secrets, 
comforted broken sisters, innocence 
exchanged for adulthood,
an unfair trade, really;

kissed near-strangers in dimly lit rooms, and
felt nothing, while being flooded with 
emotion mornings after, caught in the
early stages of regret.

And now I sit in a rocking chair on 
the porch of a building that isn’t home, 
and watch as the mist swells to droplets, and 
the droplets a storm, 

and I feel the same welling up in my chest 
and sit nostalgic,
for moments that have grown out of the Kentucky grass
as those old bells begin to chime. 

This poem is about: 
Me
My community

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