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.
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.
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 Nichols