West Virginian: A Poem Aaron P. Kittle July 1, 2015 2 Comments Your river veins, your heart of coal Seneca’s body, Spruce’s soul A quiet perfection–to some, unknown It is you, my God, my home Quivering dewdrop tracing stem Shaded eaves for root and limb Sunlight pierces through on loam My God, my home Warm wind on ridges and all in between Swaying guard above me ever-long, evergreen Without your touch, I am alone My God, my home River flood, or sleet and storm Demanding only what is yours But your mercy is still known My God, my home Your misty, fog-blessed start of day On October leaves or frosted May I yearn for places I have yet to roam My God, my home A bonfire blazing in a backcountry camp Your deer, your trout, your morels, your ramps Hill-borne provisions in a hill-borne poem My God, my home Valley of life, in dark of night so long Whisper winter’s silence, sing summer’s song Formation of rock, in light of day If I should leave, I won’t stay away For someday they shall lay to rest my bones In you, my God, my home Spruce Knob. Photo by Aaron P. Kittle Aaron P. Kittle ©2015 Author Biography Aaron P. Kittle is an Elkins native – a 1999 graduate of Elkins High School and a 2004 graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College. Always creatively involved in music, art and design, Kittle began his interest in poetry while writing lyrics for various local bands in which he performed, starting in 1996. Kittle later nurtured this interest at Wesleyan, where he took a course with noted West Virginia poet, Dr. Irene McKinney. Kittle cites his grandmother, Beth Guye Kittle as a source of mentoring and encouragement, having published poems in countless magazines and two of her own volumes: The Sanctioned Fruit (1998) and A Widow’s Lament (2015). Since his start, Kittle has written over 200 poems and lyrics. Of Elkins, Kittle says, “Elkins has a very unique spirit that’s partly embedded in the people, and partly embedded in the surrounding mountains. If you embrace it, it embraces you. This place is unlike anywhere else. Here in West Virginia, worshipping God simply requires stepping outside. Growing up, people always talk about leaving West Virginia and Elkins behind…that’s something you find everywhere, but Elkins is the kind of home one always longs for. I’ll always be an Elkinite.” Kittle is employed as marketing director at Jenkins Subaru-Hyundai in Bridgeport, where he lives with his wife, Jessica. 2 Responses longfellow July 2, 2015 Your poem draws me near to all thing good. Log in to Reply Mara Mullen Silies July 1, 2015 Beautiful. Thank you for that. My body was not formed in Elkins nor in West Virginia, but my soul was. I left in 1979 and my heart longs for it still. Log in to Reply Leave a Reply to Mara Mullen Silies Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.