Walking down the Antebellum Alley - Oak Alley: A Southern Plantation

I often see it
stifle in alleys
rot in vaults
peel off walls.

It lives in 
the dying thud
the receding steps
the wet smell of dust.


Yet down south,
down the river
are alleys so young
and still, so old.



So green, so calm
at a glance so free.


And there she stands
in her Victorian gown
full of stories, restored
in the big white manor.



Generations of owners
hanging on the walls,
dinning lavishly on 
decorated flesh and blood.



The silver flaunting,
summer verandas,
glossy chandeliers and
anecdotes of times gone.




An abode so idyllic
yet so cold and haunted.


Unknown voices whisper
and the crack of a whip
blood nourishing the cane
and clank of chains.


Torn on the field
split into parts
from one to the other
plantation-totters.



The silent speakers watch
as centuries pass
their boughs bending
of pain, of shame.


Yet everything flows
with the mighty river
to unload the sludge
towards the ebbing bay.

And a lonely bell tolls,
'it tolls for thee'...







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