Turned out in her finest frock,she squints into the sun, posesstiff-spined for the camera,smiling for this souvenir portrait,now faded, enigmatic sepia.Rocky Mountains rise behind her,and I imagine a visit to the Wild Westgravesite of Buffalo Bill, panoramaof golden prairie and the juttinghogbacks of earth’s backbone,hot, dry wind tugging tendrilsof hair out of its tight bun.She holds a ten-gallon hat,perhaps the photographer’s prop.No man’s arm encumbers her waist,no child peeps from behind skirts.This postcard, clean as a new slate—memento of her first trip to a landunlike the enclosing Blue Ridge,or proof of independence—no address, no postmark telling timeor place, no trace of looping cursivewish you were here. [End Page 103]
Janice Hornburg is a native Texan who transplanted to East Tennessee in 1993. Her chapbook, Perspectives, was released by Finishing Line Press in 2013. Her work has been anthologized in the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Volume V and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Vol. VI: Tennessee, and has appeared in Appalachian Heritage, Chapter 16, Town Creek Poetry, and Tennessee Voices.