Destination: High Country

Destination: High Country

An ode to Boone this time of year

Sophia Lucente

Moving westward. Finding best words

To ease from highway, copper hay-fields, fuel-stop signs --

Words like "breathe", "release", "talk radio",

Nothing but, "Oh." Windows rolled down to show

The disappearance of humidity that pools on Piedmont porches, arms and shoulders,

Its cool sweet absence heavenly.

The breeze

Shakes limbs high up, mounted on stilts

From Guilford, Forsyth, Yadkin, and Wilkes.

Summer's vapid envy lingers, a jaded lover still longing to drag you down,

But with every county's line she is weaker. Compromising

At last surmising: heat's best when balanced

With elevation and the mountain highway's open, airy channels.

Trudging machines packed with granola, flannel pullovers, and sweet tea cups

Move up, one gear shift at a time, eyes trained on distant layer-cake

Made of beige and brown hills, topped with Blue Ridge ocean

Like paint smudged on a canvass --

Eardrums' static popping, a smooth trail through carved-out hillside,

Stone handfuls piled high.

The short twist skyward, in Watauga,

It's hard to mask the harmony inherent in this cradled town

That isn't home, but gives you things to think about

The whole way down.

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