Grit Gospel

The ministry of making art in Appalachia

–by Final Girl


In the Mountains that used to be Magic



A buck lives in my neighborhood.
It’s not a neighborhood really, just a scattering of houses by the highway.  At night you can hear the freight trains.  I don’t know my neighbors, only by their trash.  It’s not really in town, but not rural enough either for a deer of this size, not this size—large enough to be legendary.  To be the subject of stories, the object of at least one hunter’s obsession.  I’ve seen the buck twice: a startled head, rack flashing like a white mast in the trees.

There are so many mysteries: where he goes, how he lives.  How old is he?  How long has he been here?  How long will he last?  He gives me something to root for, the buck.  He helps me dream of something undiscovered still in these settled hills. Continue reading