Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Fire Of Water

by Jason E. Hodges

Pushed in holes decorated fenders of grandpa’s old rusted out car
Pushed by bullets of hot lead ripping the air
Bullets from the lawmen’s gun in the chase of a lifetime
The holes had a strange feel to the hands of little ones
Small fingers of wide-eyed children gently felt grandpa’s outrun of the Law
Wondering daydreams of what could be so wrong with running shine to survive
The children had seen all the work it took to make
Stones hauled from plowed fields then mortared with Georgian Red Clay
Stacked around the shiny copper pot then fired with timber from the dark woods
Gently grandpa brushed the bottom of the still with a soft flame
Carefully, without bringing the soaked sugar, malt, and corn water to a boil
Oh so carefully so the alcohol would evaporate and float through the cap in a vapor
Then make its way to the thump keg
Then back out to the copper worm submerged in spring water
Where it cooled turning back to liquid
Filling jars with a flow as big as a pencil, too fast a flow meant the liquor was ruined
With a smile, grandpa shook the jars full of his fiery new brew
He was checking the bead
Checking the proof for the ones not in the know
The smaller the bubble the stronger the drink
After hours of working a still, there was no after hours
For the whiskey was clean and drank whenever they wanted
This was a time when self-made men thrived in the mountains of North Georgia
Before pharmaceuticals flooded the hills of the South
Resulting in families flooding emergency rooms
Praying their fathers, sons, or daughters would live through the night
Yes Grandpa and the good old days
When if you drank too much you woke up hung-over, instead of, not waking up at all
Grandpa was the last of his kind, But now he’s lying beside the Flint River
His days of running shine under the cast of moonlight have disappeared in the pages of time

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