The Reclamation (for Jeff)

There will come a dawn
when, like trees in June, 
the Appalachian people will reclaim 
what can only so long be denied.
On that morn dew will soften the moon
and up from dark hollers they will rise,
moving with the persistence
of tendrils reaching towards light
and floating like burning fog
along rocky spines and inclines
to the tops of the mountains.
They will not be thwarted.
Like the ancient blizzards of childhood
they will cover the scars of greed
with a vision of crystalline purity.
Even the dinosaurs
and yellow caterpillars of the fossil age
will be buried beneath the muffling quiet
of their accumulation.
All will rest. Life will be a slow melting.

And after many springs and much rust
no one will remember
when the land was made slave 
to red law and lust.
Bob Henry Baber