North Country Roads

North County Roads, lead me home

To that old place, that old room

Another autumn, beside the falls

Maples orange, birches yellow

Apple Jack in the barrel

And wood smoke in the air


Cold crisp mornings up by the pond

The tent damp with dew or frost

Back cracking as I wake

Reapers in the valley

Corn in the cribs

Hay in lofts, cows in the meadow one last day


Along the ridge

Across the sky

My eyes turn south

Watching wild geese head towards the lake

Chipmunks around the lean-to hunt for peanuts one last time

Cracking ice to filter water beside the spring


Beavers slap their tails as I pass by

The wood duck grasps the clouds

Leaving for the Carolinas or Virginia

Where she’ll be warm

No ice or snow for her

Perhaps I’ll follow


I haven’t time

But if I did

I could walk from here to there

Or anywhere

All it takes is time

And a will to close that door


North Country roads

Follow them here or there

To Syracuse or Waterloo

Buffalo or Kalamazoo

Along the ridge across the field


To school to church

Country roads aren’t all red dirt

And no magnolia ever flowered

Up here where frost is warm

There’s still one room schools

And year round prayer

For more than football games


That old church I know so well

Baptists from so far back

The walls and windows

The Revolution passed its doors

A congregation Three hundred years

Three years ago


The cemetery

Where family is

Within the plots

On both sides of the fence

Small pox child birth old age

Old forgotten names


The mill site

The blown out dam

Salt on the air

North Country roads could lead me there

Beyond the Hudson

To yet another home


Or to the Kingdom

Where other family is

Beyond the lakes

Where winter comes

So early

In the Fall

.A family hardly known

Distant cousins

With names like Jacques

Four generations since

That wagon was brought south

Eight brothers by its side


Across that bridge

Brown traveled south

His sons at his side

For what they knew was right

Hung for treason

By treasonous men


Northern Spie

Old barn cellar

Forgotten grave

And old stone wall

I’ve seen you beside

North Country roads


The gilded age

Of Vanderbilt

And Rockefeller

Rots in the woods

Forgotten along

North Country roads


Trails climb mountain sides

Cut by mute immigrants

From Cork or Limerick

So for three weeks a year

A carriage could climb the summit

Above North Country Roads


The trail leads me on and on

North or South

East or West

Down the valley

Across the ridge

North Country Roads will lead me there

This entry was posted in Adirondacks, Finger Lakes, new england, Poetry, The Wandering Yankee and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to North Country Roads

  1. This belongs in a literary magazine or a poetry collection. Simply awesome.

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