The following are two selections from bell hooks’ Appalachian Elegy (2012).

such then is beauty
against all hope
you are here again
turning slowly
nature as chameleon
all life change
and changing again
awakening hearts
steady moving from
unnamed loss
into fierce deep grief
that can bear all burdens
even the long passage
into a shadowy dark
where no light enters


when trees die
all small hearts break
little living creatures
happy and safe
now in need of finding
new places
when home
cracks and breaks and falls
all life becomes danger
how to find
another place
where all is not
yet barren