Monday, March 8, 2021

Rainelle, West Virginia by Abby N. Lewis

          —Appalachia Service Project Volunteer Site

We use water-resistant paint
on the concrete stilts;
the house is perched above,
climbing from the flood
that destroyed its shadow.
One set of stilts supports air alone
while the owner lives in a tent nearby.
We are quiet as we paint his.

It rained many times in the week
we were there. We were told
the locals fear the rain.
Most importantly, they told us
the people here are not victims—
we were never to use that word.

Abby N. Lewis is a poet from Dandridge, Tennessee. She is the author of the chapbook This Fluid Journey (2018) and the poetry collection Reticent (2016). Her work has appeared in Timber, The Mockingbird, The Allegheny Review, Sanctuary, and elsewhere. Follow her website:

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