Country Whispers


The things I’ve learned—
the toil—the strife,
boil down to my hometown
where I began life…


“You can never go home,”

I’ve heard said before,

but didn’t believed it

‘til I shut that door.

No matter how far we go,

what mountains we climb—

home remains the compass

of our heart, an’ mind.

Hometown Mountains

We may find riches,

or be poor as church mice,

but that farmhouse back home

is our measuring device.

One can deny it—

climb the social ladder—escape,

but deep down inside,

runs an’ old familiar tape.

That tiny spark reminds us

of who we really are

whether driving a tractor,

or Cadillac car.

“Memory serves us well,”

I continually say,

since it keeps us grounded

each step along the way.

But, as I visit my hometown

its nothing like before—

new faces by the number

behind unwelcoming doors.

Old Store in Can't Go Home

Churches have closed—

left unpainted, un-kept.

As I passed by ours,

I stopped, and wept.

Church in Can't Go Home

Our high school—now Social Center,

graduate pictures on walls

reminds me of the days

we communed in the halls.

Kids my age moved on

when the mill shut down,

when the EPA’s hoot owl

halted logging in our town.

Yes, we grew older,

gained knowledge, matured,

but never left our roots behind,

of that, I’m quite sure.

Now, I visit parents, acquaintances, friends—

as once more I tarry

among headstones

in the old cemetery.

Yes, the home I once loved,

the folks I remember

seem long, long ago

burning out like an ember.

Hometown barns

But I’ll cherish that old town

in my memories again,

for it shaped the core within me,

and is where my heart remains.


Tamara Hillman