The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge


By Carl "Skinny" Rowland © 1989

Issue: February, 1989

Now a long long time ago,
back early in my life,
I once came almighty close,
to taking on a wife.

I had on my tux and top hat,
and white spats on my shoes,
and was walking to the church,
where we'd exchange "I do's".

But just as I arrived there,
she came outside and ran,
and got into a buggy,
holding to another man.

Well then he cracked the whip,
and the horses gave a lurch,
leaving me to stand there,
on the doorsteps of the church.

So I went and shed those city clothes,
and saddled up my roan,
and headed out for open space,
riding all alone.

Then I found the place I sought,
a cliff a mile high,
and a tree grew on the edge,
with a limb stretched to the sky.

And down below amid huge rocks,
a rushing river raged,
so then I set about the task,
in which I was now engaged.

I looped my rope around the limb,
of the overhanging tree,
then tied the end around my neck,
and jumped out clear and free.

And just to make it double sure,
I aimed my pistol at my head,
and as I jumped I fired the gun,
but shot the rope in two instead.

Well down I went at breakneck speed,
but missed the rocks and ground,
But I was lucky I could swim boys,
by golly I could have drowned.