The Last Mountain Man

by Amanda Bullington

My grandpa is the last mountain man I know
Raised alongside the wood and fog of the Great Smokies
In a little log cabin on Bull Mountain.

From the day he was born he hated snakes.
As a newborn he survived on cow's milk as his courageous
Father hiked miles away to remedy the copperhead venom
Running through his mother's veins.

He worked with his hands from early childhood,
Learning how to sow crops and gather firewood
Always making things grow, whether plant or flame.

As a small boy, he walked to his small one-room schoolhouse
At the top of the mountain, going uphill both ways.
During lunch, he'd whack sticks with the other schoolboys
In a childhood game known only by that mountain.

When winter came, my grandpa and his eight siblings
Waited eagerly for their yearly Christmas delicacies,
A peppermint stick and an orange in a brown paper bag.

One year, a foreigner came to the mountain
And found the little log cabin where my grandpa's family lived.
She snapped a black and white photograph, the only tangible recollection
Of my grandpa's youth, and she mailed it back to the mountain.

As a teenager, my grandpa grew restless
So he left his family on the mountain
In search of new adventure, and headed north.

He found modern work in a glass-making factory,
And once he built his house from the ground up,
Settled down with a wife, a son, a daughter, and
A garden filled with roses and vegetables.


Posted on 03/14/2009
Copyright © 2023 Amanda Bullington

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Timothy Burns on 09/20/09 at 01:58 AM

I would love to see the picture with this great poem!

Posted by Allison Smith on 09/21/09 at 01:00 AM

I adore this. I too would love to see the photo.

Posted by Desdemona Sinestra on 09/21/09 at 02:06 AM

This is just like being there. Forget the pic ;)

Posted by Tony Whitaker on 09/21/09 at 02:36 PM

Amanda, this is the story of my mother and her side of the family. My mother comes from Galax and her mother from Pulaski, VA. But I know Bull Mountain well as I use to live not two hours from there much of my life. Thar was a different world and your poem reminds me of the many, many stories my mother and her people use to tell me about living in the hills. They had to wind their water from a well and even I used an outhouse until I was six. You have given me inspiration as I have never writtne anything about these stories. Thank you for this wonderful piece (peace)!

Posted by Charlie Morgan on 09/21/09 at 05:20 PM

...he is lfted by your words...great lil tribute to "from where we came."

Return to the Previous Page

pathetic.org Version 7.3.2 May 2004 Terms and Conditions of Use 0 member(s) and 2 visitor(s) online
All works Copyright © 2023 their respective authors. Page Generated In 0 Second(s)