“Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio,” by James Wright

In the Shreve High football stadium,
I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville,
And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood,
And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel,
Dreaming of heroes.

All the proud fathers are ashamed to go home,
Their women cluck like starved pullets,
Dying for love.

Therefore,
Their sons grow suicidally beautiful
At the beginning of October,
And gallop terribly against each other’s bodies.

(from the Poetry Foundation.)

In honor of James Wright, I drove through Martins Ferry as I headed west from Pittsburgh.

trees

In his acknowledgements section at the front of the twenty-fifth anniversary edition of A River Runs Through It and Oother stories, Norman Maclean writes of his difficulties getting published. “To add further to their literary handicaps, these stories turned out to be Western stories – as one publisher said in returning them, ‘These stories have trees in them.'” Some of us, of course, appreciate trees.

I found this great article from Garden & Gun: “Ten Storied Southern Trees.” I was hopeful that I might have visited one or two, and indeed I have; another is on my list for the next week or so, and a few more I’ve added. (Note the tag on this post: “significant trees.)

The Angel Oak is coming right up (thanks Pops for putting that one on my list); I’ve been to the Big Tree on Texas’s Gulf Coast and the Tree That Owns Itself in Athens. I’ve also visited Austin’s Treaty Oak, but before Foxy and before this blog, and I have no pictures (sad face). I was a little offended that that one didn’t make this list! They do list another Treaty Oak in Florida, whose story is apparently apocryphal. Think I’ll skip that one; but I added Virginia’s Emancipation Oak to the itinerary. Thanks, G&G! I love trees.

And then, before I could even get this post published (because this is how the world works), I saw this post from a Facebook page I follow called Traces of Texas. I hope you can follow those links okay! I won’t copy the text here, nor the picture, because I don’t wish to offend. But it’s about another tree in Texas I’ll have to find one of these years…