Come On Home Down Country Roads
Go past the historic red brick courthouse on the city square where men fight against development and complain there’s no internet
Go left at the Hallmark Christmas tree,
fragrant balsam standing tall,
winking love to all, a gift each year from a tree farmer in our rural Georgia country farmland
Go on through the hometown sidewalks bustling with fresh holly-filled evergreen wreaths on every door – the Mortons, the Sawyers, the Demarcos, and all the other names in the church directories for miles on end, people smiling and waving from restored front porches
Go straight down to the dirt road, and turn the window down a crack to hear the crunch of gravel under the pickup truck tires, as every outside farm dog comes running to the road’s edge to take a good hard look with a warning greeting
Go past the cinnamon-roll haybales standing on their sides, scattered across the rolling hill pastures like manna fallen from heaven, acres and acres outlined in rustic wood-rail fences
Go past the old tobacco barn now home to tractors and balers and machinery that makes it all easier for the great great grandsons of the first generation farmers
Go right at the fishing ponds where the cat-tails sway and the frogs trill songs of praise for the day and the steam rises like slow-mo ballet dancers on cold mornings
Go real slow at the roadside stand, the honor system produce market where the farmer leaves a money bucket for the good folks of Pike County to pay for their collards and pumpkins – and tip your hat, if you’re wearin’ one and see somebody
Go on up to the holy cows, the ones who run together in a big herd toward the cross on the hill every evening at five o’clock sharp when they’re called home
Go past the old dilapidated cannery, where the women of this town in war-time all worked to preserve the food grown here to feed the nation
Go over the railroad tracks – the ones that brought all the folks before us out to line the streets as President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his casket rode through the small towns from his home over in Warm Springs all the way back to D.C.
Go on down past the fire tower and Gregg’s peach orchard, past the old cemetery with its moss-covered headstones, over the creek and through the piney woods to the Johnson Funny Farm and
Come on in, greet the dogs in their full-body wags and sit down and have a glass of sweet tea with a mint sprig in a mason jar with me!