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  • Writer's pictureLee Clark Zumpe

Down Parson’s Branch Road


by the soft pine-needle floor,

I trace the ridgeline

upon a whisper of a trail

where the ghosts of Indigenous peoples

chip arrow and ax heads from the blue flint

and drink from old hidden springs.


amidst the sable vested trunks

of black locusts towering,

beneath the mighty hemlocks 

stabbing skyward,

bone and rock are interchangeable;

earth and flesh are inseparable.


on the murky edge of twilight,

creek mud caked on my boots,

Appalachian air in my lungs,

I bow to unknown ancestors

beneath my heels.


Lee Clark Zumpe, an entertainment editor and movie reviewer with Tampa Bay Newspapers, earned his degree in English at the University of South Florida. His poetry and short stories have appeared various publications, such as Tiferet, Zillah, Weird Tales, Modern Drunkard Magazine, and Main Street Rag. Lee lives in Florida with his wife and daughter.


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