- A Catechism
Have you sent your letters out into the world?I have sent my letters.
Of what did you make them?Of voices.
Where did you get them?Earth from the dust of ancestors.Air from cold mountain winds.Water from an old woman's tin cup.Fire from the sun rising over my brother's grave.
How long did you work on your letters?As many years as the pilgrim spentsearching earth's secret name.
Where did you send your letters?To the oaks & maples barren of leaves.
What did you hear?Nothing. Nothing.
Is that enough?It is our secret. [End Page 149]
Jeff Daniel Marion has published nine volumes of poetry, including Ebbing & Flowing Springs: New and Selected Poems and Prose, 1976–2001, winner of the 2003 Independent Publisher Award in Poetry and the 2003 Appalachian Book of the Year, and Letters to the Dead: A Memoir. His poems and fiction have appeared in more than sixty journals and anthologies, and he has received the James Still Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers.