D & D at the Chinquapin Cemetery

Chinquapin Cemetery on Star Mountain
commands a drop-dead gorgeous Ozark view.
But that ground is rocky as my husband can attest,
having dug at least one grave for the old neighbors
who welcomed us when we moved to the Neil Hill side
of Bohannon Mountain. Count on the eulogizing
being mostly fire with brimstone, breathy
from the mouths of Baptist preachers. 

Our newer friends, Don and Donna, secular humanists,
have tended sickly rosebushes at their plots in that poor soil, 
the future site of their earthly remains, 
against one year’s drought and the next’s
alternating dry spells and monsoon seasons.     

Don and Donna (hereafter D & D) have a funky
weekend cabin near us on the Little Red River
and a gorgeous Hillcrest House in Little Rock,
where I visit them, and we watch simulcast
Metropolitan Opera on the big screen, complete
with champagne tailgate intermissions.  

On Star Mountain, last visit, they found
a sprig of yellow plastic tulips blown onto their plots.
We laughed.  D said it was no wonder.
Some other optimists about the great Eternal Green
Afterlife probably planted something that failed to thrive. 

Their rosebushes will grow on Star Mountain
among the plastic flowers, and love quartets
from Cosi fan Tutti will soar above country
music, when the wind blows just right.

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About the Author

Since 1976, my husband and I have lived on a hardscrabble, 40-acre piece of Ozark land as back-to-the-landers, a group of very determined people. We still garden organically and largely rely on ourselves and our community for entertainment and inspiration. I am also a textile artist working in a wide variety of disciplines. My memoir, BACK TO THE LAND: ALLIANCE COLONY TO THE OZARKS was published by Stockton University Press in February 2020, and my poetry appears in print and online.

Ruth Weinstein
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