Cumberland River, *Kuttawa, Kentucky

   Dr. Thomas Walker and five other men from Virginia found 
   a gap in the mountains on April 17, 1750.  They discovered 
   and named the river for a Masonic man, William Augustus, 
   Duke of Cumberland and son of King George II.  Ultimately 
   the name of Cumberland was attached to the whole region: 
   river, mountains, gap, plateau, town, county, college 
   and four Masonic Lodges.  Duke of Cumberland slew every 
   Scottish chieftain in the battle of Culloden in 1746, 
   an unsuitable battlefield outside of Inverness, Scotland.   
   *Kuttawa in Shawnee means: Beautiful

Cold spring day 
Confederate grey 
Running fast
Down river
Drove alone
Road I never knew
Past farms 
Fields un-yielding
through Dykesburg 
Road straight 
to you
No wires 
Power towers for miles 
No houses 
Shack abandoned
across your water
I wanted close  
Your wildness 
without falling 
Clouded waters 
Spring thaws
Old farmers warning 
“Best not fall in that river 
You’ll be swept away, 
never to be seen again.” 

I stood close 
Lie down 
Turn my head	
Red clay earth 
Ear to ground 
Hear what  
I see 

  - Published in Marin Poetry Center 2011 Anthology
     “Volume XIV: Mountains & In Between”

-- Donna Mussato
What I Haven't Said

is not in the palms fronds 
that wave everyday 
outside your window
nor in the cloud wisps
that this morning wove a blanket

it is not in the dead ladybugs 
on your stairs
nor the washed dog 
after his salty swim
in chilly water

not even in the hoot 
of spotted owls 
in and out of their homes
as they screech
and catch food for their babies

and what I also have not
ever mentioned is the cry 
of your mother overtaken 
as a young girl
by a stranger crushing her innocence

some things you will guard 
as if your life depended on it 
make them 
into your fire & light 
the rest will not matter

-- Katherine Crawford