where are they?
the young men who will save us from the old men who bask in air conditioned offices deciding the fate of us all?
where in God’s name have God’s followers gone?
where are the poets, the wanderers, the shame of depraved indifference, the songsters who can make us dance again?
where are they?
where did the ones go who can stop this greed, this madness whose only desire is to place us all in a plantation harness until we die? where are they? the ones who care about more than themselves?
where o where are the street shouters, the lovers of peace instead of bullets? where are the brilliant minds, those painters of awe, those writers who can deposit that delicate dew on our souls?
where are those who can dry our tears and comfort our tired feet? where are those who can save our planet not sell her?
where are those who are strong enough to demand justice and hope? where are those who can stop the oil whore and the image pimps?
where have they all gone?
It was in the 1950’s, when I was born, it was a much different world than what we have now. In the middle of where we lived was an ancient anchor from the past, a monument to hard labor, dangerous work, and low wages.
Shot gun shanties and many unpaved roads that coughed up dust was home to hundreds that lived, slept, and walked daily to local general stores and porches where old men in overalls chewed and spat while they whittled.
In the summer sometimes there was a roving snow cone stand resembling a mirage in the desert. Holding that paper cone of flavored ice while a team of mules pulled wagon for the old junk man went by jingling the bells and kicking up more dust.
Cotton Mill days meant long hot summers, cool fall with Halloween colored leaves, cold icy winter driven by blue northers, and spring wet mornings as gardens were planted in red earth.
Cotton Mill days meant days that were measured by a loud whistle from the plant telling workers to “go home”, “get to work”, and added a color to everyone’s life who were not wearing wrist watches or in a room full of clocks.
At the time it seemed that life would never end. But it was short and left all of us a memory of something we still feel and love. The identity of being one of those “Cotton Mill folks” made others know who you were.
Maybe Cotton Mill days never ended.