Banner Mountain Girl # 60 -“Whicker Bill” Riley

unknown grave
“Whicker Bill” Riley
(1903—1925)

I always thought Maude Henry
and her three daughters were so
pretty ridin’ their mules. They rode
them mules wherever they went. Maude
was a widder woman—had been for six
years when their four mules got stole,
right out of that shabby, old barn settin’
on the side of Brock Mountain. One of ‘em
was Maude’s bug-eyed mule, called Ned.
That critter was half-blind, I tell ya’ fer sure.
The sheriff, he nailed up a poster
down at the courthouse—a picture took
last May of Maude and her girls ridin’
them mules to a cousin’s weddin’.
Yesterday mornin’ the Henrys walked
two miles to Kill Devil Creek, where they
come to my hangin’. Them and everybody
else in Waycross County. I swore
up and down that I didn’t steal
them mules. They hung me anyway.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

NOTE:  This may be a Spoon River Poem, but I don’t guarantee that it is! 🙂

two donkeys

Banner Mountain Girl # 59 “Autumn Preparation”

Autumn Preparation

Autumn skies are dripping gray,
the leaves are bleeding brown,
green-hulled black walnuts are dropping
like heaps of hail hammering down.
Red squirrels are packing nuts
for winter days ahead.
As for me, I just turned up
the thermostat to my waterbed.
© Freeda Baker Nichols

� BakerNichols

BANNER MOUNTAIN GIRL # 56 My Arkansas Heritage

In Arkansas the Ozarks Mountains rise
in rugged rows of hills, tree-lined and steep
where redbirds flit beneath crisp autumn skies,
and sugar maples’ roots run dense and deep.

And here, we mountaineers are always free
to pass our heritage to every child.
Black bear and white-tailed deer near post oak tree
are sights that welcome me from forest wild.

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Fog fingers hide green valleys on wet days
when Arkansas awaits the sun to shine–
my home–a rustic cabin wrapped in leis
of pink azaleas sparkling like grape wine.

A welcome sound–Abe’s banjo by the stream
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.

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I’m glad I married Abe and settled down
to raise our blue-eyed, little family
on banks of this Red River town
where Arkansas forever calls to me!

© Freeda Baker Nicholscardinal on post

 

BANNER MOUNTAIN GIRL # 55 Grandma’s Gift

White Horse and DonkeyGRANDMA’S GIFT

Baby snuggles beneath the warmth

of a quilt that Grandma made

with pattern from a color book–

animals in a parade.

Some of them bark, some bite, some dance–

their colors are very bright

and baby loves to sing to them

when he goes to bed at night.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

Published: Butterfly Quilt Patterns

A shop at Mt. View

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Ruger takes a nap, too.