The amber Alleghany Mountains rise
in rugged rows of hills, tree-lined and steep
where red birds flit beneath clear autumn skies,
and sugar maples roots run dense and deep.
Our motto, Mountaineers Are Always Free,
is stamped upon the heart of every child.
Black bear and white-tailed deer near hemlock tree
are sights that welcome me from forest wild.
Fog fingers hide green valleys on wet days
when West Virginia waits for sun to shine;
my home–a rustic cabin wrapped in leis
of pink azaleas sparkling like grape wine.
A welcome sound–Abe’s banjo clear as cream
on nights when hounds forsake the mountain trails
and sleep stretched out in bravo just to dream
the hot pursuit of foxes with red tails.
I’m glad I married Abe and settled down
to raise our blue-eyed, little family
nearby this Shenandoah Valley town,
where West Virginia keeps on calling me!
© 2014 Freeda Baker Nichols