Long, slow drive around hairpin curves--kudzu
and ginseng cover roadsides like taciturn mountain
people protect their culture. We're only trying to save
them from backwoods existence, but they are leery.
Outsiders, they call us. I suspect miscegenation,
Melungeons, tri-racial isolate group, possible inbreeding.
Children observed today at Redbud School wore soiled
hand-me-downs, lacked proper hygiene. Girl A wiped
runny nose on dress; Boy A's trousers, unzipped. Girl B
no lunch. When asked questions, heads turned to avoid
eye contact, common habit of mountain people. Teacher
Truesdale, pleasant enough, refused to divulge information
about students, acted as if we came to steal from them;
content to remain ignorant, behind a civilized world.
Observations to be accurately reported after washing
hands with anti-bacterial gel and enjoying a stiff drink.