Phibby Venable

Samuel says he can repair the stone wall
and from his vantage point
of seventy summers
I believe him
he waves his hands
for emphasis
holds the smooth stones
in cool consideration
His long, freckled hands play
against the open pockets of wall
by evening he has gentled in
all the rock
I am impressed but
he laughs and claims it was
his pleasure and that after five
marriages he has learned
more than a little about rock
that crumbles and falls free
and he explains once more to me
how to stave up walls
and grip stone


Phibby Venable,

work has been published in 2River, Poetrybay, Southern Ocean Review, Sow's Ear, Voices, the Appalachian Journal, and various other national & international magazines. Her novel Women of the Roundtable was published by All That Matters Press in 2010.

She has two chapbooks: On White Top, published by Poetrybay, George Wallace, editor; and Indian Wind Song by People Inc. The proceeds of Indian Wind Song were used to help low-income Appalachian families with indoor plumbing and home repairs.

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