The Lost Dialect of Southeast Kentucky

Sharon Ackerman

With each syllable,
a pan bangs on the stove,
iron skillet words
muttered by old Scots.
Nary and haint,  blinked,
Highland tongues
clang in hollows, faintly now,
but I have known smokehouses
haunted by their metal,
shattered mountain coves
where patchwork Gaelic
skipped rivers as a pebble
before it was schooled out,
blasted out.  What remains
is water;  its rough, ancestral rhythm
ferries me to sleep, speaks again
the white capped fury of old
English cadences, rushing creeks
where a forsaken alphabet
still rages through stone

Sharon Ackerman resides in Charlottesville, Virginia and earned an M.Ed from the University of Virginia.  Her poems have appeared in StreetLight Magazine and she was one of the winners in the 2017 Virginia Poetry Society's national contest.