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Nancy Simpson's LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE, New and Selected Poems was published by Carolina Wren Press (N.C. Laureate Series, 2010.) She is the author of ACROSS WATER and NIGHT STUDENT, State Street Press, still available on WWW at Alibris and Books Again. Her poems have been published in Southern Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review and other literary magazines. "Carolina Bluebirds" was published in THE POETS GUIDE TO THE BIRDS, Anhinga Press). "Grass" was reprinted in the 50th Anniversary Issue of Southern Poetry Review: DON'T LEAVE HUNGRY ( U.of Arkansas Press.) Seven poems were reprinted in the textbook, SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN POETRY,(McFarland.) Two poems were published in SOLO CAFE, Two more poems were published in SOLO NOVO."In the Nantahala Gorge" was published in Pisgah Review. "Studying Winter" was reprinted in Pirene's Fountain Anthology and "The Collection" in Collecting Life Anthology. Most recently, Southern Poetry Review Edited by James Smith, published "Our Great Depression," and The Southern Poetry Anthology Vol. VII: NORTH CAROLINA,Edited by William Wright, reprinted "Leaving in the Dead of Winter."

Friday, November 14, 2008

MANSION BY Nancy Simpson


Forget you heard it, Rural Life Workshop,
mountaineers saying there is no Appalachia.
Forget the woman who asked
Where did she come from?
and being an outsider, forget
you wanted to walk through the window.
Came from the ocean, should have said,

but no, you behaved; that is the main thing,
and listened all day to their speeches.
No one knew you hoped Jim Miller would speak
with his accent, how you wished he would
take up his good book and read.

Driving up the gravel road
all you have is belief.
This is where you wanted to go.
Leaves fall like flecks of gold.
The road is paved with yellow leaves.

It's home.  Still,
this is not Heaven.  The door is locked.
The windows are dark like eyes of an old woman.
Go in.
Walk through the wall if you want.

Previously published in Step Around the Mountain,
Black Jack Twelve.

Included in Night Student


Lynn ... said...

I love this ... all I could think about while I read it is the hundreds of places I've found myself, and realized I was wishing I were someplace else. I'm glad you have the mansion you do! :) Love you!!

Nancy Simpson said...

Lynn, I'm glad you like "Mansion". I remember that day, way back in the seventies, how I took a day off so I could go to Hinton Rural Life Center to hear Jim Wayne Miller read his poems.

Instead, all day, the talk was how there is no
Appalachian and Appalachia no longer exists. I did not want to hear that, for I had just found Appalachia and for me it was and still is alive and real.

Clearly did not belong at that meeting, but then, yes I did come down through the years to belong to Appalachia.

Glenda C. Beall said...

Great poem, Nancy. We have all had those times when we didn't belong and I could feel for you in that place. There is an Appalachia and I love it.
Thanks for posting this poem.

Tipper said...

Loved the poem Nancy-and you know how I feel about Appalachia!!

Judy said...

I related to your poem of being an outsider and then finding home again. Love it!

Glenda Barrett said...

Your website is lovely with the
pictures of Cherry Mountain. Also, I wanted to say what a fine looking grandson you have and how proud you must be of him! One more thing the poem, "Mansion," is unique and interesting. Thank you for posting my poems on your site as well. Glenda Barrett