THE BENCH

Updated: Jul 17


I came upon the bench,

Quite convenient,

Quite comfortable,

Timely.


It beckoned,

“Come sit a spell,

Rest your weary self,


For you are on quite a path,

There fella,

With quite a climb,

Hath you time?


I sat.

It cradled me,

Cozily,

Instantly,

And guess what?

Whils’t resting,

I began to see,

Endlessly,

Amazing!


A chair,

A lounge,

A stupe,

A stump,

A branch,

A fallen tree,

Or whatever,

Perhaps forever,

Chestnut.

A blighted Hemlock,

Not.

For me.


I seemed to fit me,

Perfectly,

In it’s branchy,

clutches.


Aaaaah!

So invitingly,

Relaxing,

A peaceful place,

A healing taking place,

A napping place,

In the middle,

Of nowhere,

insisting,

I sit there, instead,

An instant MedBed.


“Bench,” I asked,

“How can it be,

Resting thar,

I see,

So far,

So magically,

Infinity,

perfectly,

Both ways.”


It is some trickery,

Or perhaps,

Some kind of wizardry?


Or perhaps,

A muse,

Come to amuse me.


For from,

This remnant tree,

I see it all.


Every thing,

Before me,

Every all.


Every person known,

Some not,

Every trek taken,

Some taken not.


I awoke!

From the strangest nap,

It seemed,

A dream?


Perhaps?

Perhaps not.


I arose from my bountiful bench,

Continuing my upward journey.

Had this been some joke,

To which awakened,

I awoke?


In my Dream,

It seemed,

I had dreamed,

Wow!

My entire existence?

And I seemed,

Younger,

Now,

Somehow?


upon returning,

From top ground

Whoa!

My bench,

Was not!

Nowhere,

Nowhere, To be found?


That’s some trail,

Some bench,

Some tale,

I told myself.


Or not😉


Author’s Note: What kinda bench was it, or not a bench at all, but some healing branch in my trail. Mysterious! Are these hills Magical? Medicinal? Mystical? Mythical? Do things happen here, out of the ordinary? The old timers say that there’s a vortex, a spirit, an energy, so to speak, that moves about from mountaintop, down holler. They say you don’t seek it. It finds you and envelops, swirls around and consumes you. Be still/relaxed as it transforms you, heals, renews. It’s probably why we’s live longer up’in here; that, and good eats, mountain music, stomping and moonshine, and no TV.


So’s y’all come on into these Appalachians and hike along and sit a spell on your favorite spot, stump or bench and listen to a tale or two, take in the beauty and history, you. You hath the time, or not😉. What’s a med bed any ways?


tom tenbrunsel

Poet Laureate of Appalachia


*photo by me along the Appalachian Trail up around Sam’s Gap.

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