Mamaw shakes her head
and says things change.
but she stands just the same way
she always did.
firm against the years blowing past
with that one leg cocked
and a bare foot pointing the way
out of frame, out of Harlan.
she looks past the camera
and Mamaw says
them steps seem steeper,
she stands there, the way she always did
surveying what's left of the mountains
and staring down decades.
the only difference is
her fists have migrated
up to her hips
and clenched in defiance of time.
Misty Skaggs. Stark, Kentucky.
Call and Response is a photo-literary exploration devoted to the relationship between photographs and words. Using photographs from the Looking at Appalachia project, writers are encouraged to respond narratively to a single image in 1,000 words or less. We hope to use this platform to expand our community and encourage collaboration between photographers and writers. Learn more about how to submit here.