Ridge and hollow, where I began:
Hollow said holler, creek said crick.
Every word my father spoke
spelled itself, unspooled within
and I kept it here, hid it beneath
the flat heartland where I was raised,
squaring the vowels, stitching lost endings.
My accent, moved north, said elsewhere.
Debra Allbery is the author, most recently, of Fimbul-Winter (Four Way, 2011), which won the National Book Prize in Poetry from Grub Street. Her poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, Yale Review, Kenyon Review, The Nation, and elsewhere. The recipient of two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Starrett Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press, a Hawhthornden fellowship, and other awards, she directs the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College near Asheville, NC.