The Dixie Café
by Mary Theroux
Bypassed by the highway,
mislaid in time,
“The Dixie” held tight.
On the square
in Byrdstown, Tennessee
up the Cumberland Plateau
hard by the Kentucky state line.
by drawn boundaries
isolated by musty grudges –
still Blue or Gray.
Johnnye fried the catfish
that soothed her aging town
while businesses died
one by one.
Then came the music –
banjo and guitar,
a doghouse bass.
They come down now
from Nashville –
meet at the borders of their lives.
bluegrass and gospel
playing for tips
and their own melodic passions.
Inspiration for this poem was a weekend spent on the Cumberland
Plateau realizing that local blood-relatives had not spoken for
generations because of bad feelings associated with the Civil War and
its aftermath, but who now mingled at weekly music nights recently
started in a cafe in their small town.
Mary Theroux lives in a natural-wood chalet in a forest of tulip,
hickory, and dogwood in Davidson County, Tennessee. She sculpted in
stone and steel for many years but has returned to an early love of
writing poetry as a late-life pursuit.
Durwood Edwards is a musician and photographer living near Nashville, Tennessee.