3. North to Alaska: Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 – Life Out Here
Montgomery, Alabama is haunted.
By lonesome whippoorwills
among the whisperings
and the camellias
and the pines.
Steepled shadows on Dexter Avenue
and the cold bronze likeness of the little woman who started it all.
On her corner she stands
no tired bone in her body,
Hank by the Riverboat emulates the blue
spirit which haunts the depot
the auction block of the Slave Trade
amid tourists and businessmen and businesswomen
of international proportions
who sip sweet tea and observe
segregated water fountains old as their parents
now housed in museums,
yet the Alabama River pushes past port city,
its emptied cottonfields,
storied hillsides of buried legends,
stray musket balls,
the green-copper fountain
which cries out in living color: Black Lives Matter
A city haunted by a hundred more icons than we care to see
or spirits like witch’s hair
unbothered to fuss about their connection
to the Cradle of the Confederacy,
the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement.
Images: Izaak on our last evening in MGM; view from the “Hank and Audrey Memorial” bench; Christ watching over the headstone hillside; MLK’s Church; Rosa’s Memorial; the Fountain; Maya’s Quote at the EJI; and Abigail, circa 2018.
Cover Photo: Dan Pratt Cotton Gin in Prattville, AL (which is probably haunted for real).