Humanities

Humanities 297: Appalachian Folklore
by Ed Davis

There’s a clogger in class,
cast a glance at fleet feet
as she Appalachian ambles
‘cross the screen-door floor.
Fiddle wheedles, wood sings
notes cock-a-doodle float
while she flits, skirts kick,
heels hammer clamber clack.
Hambone, juba-pat,
double-tap toe,
soles slap thunder as
she Charlestons down rows
to stand stiff-fisted,
clomp a rigid Irish jig,
Indian stomp, swan-walk
buck dance slow.
“Your body’s a drum,” she cried.
So we ham-boned with her,
watched her rabbit-skip back,
toe out, toe in,
click heels and halt,
drag a foot forward,
smooth as just-churned cream,
still ticking time to
the wheezy fiddler’s squawl,
then stop like a pulled stump,
roots torn loose at last.

(From the chapbook Healing Arts
Pudding House, 2005.)