The Cabin

_Atop the plateau’s rise,
__I’m homeward bound,
When sights familiar strike my eyes.
Come with me—see the scenes I’ve found.

_Turn right off highway 8,
__Mount Pleasant Church,
Then left, then right, then through the gate
Of Dunaway to start your search.

_Continue, down the hill
__Descend, veer right
Around the lake with waters still,
Where mist lies softly in the night.

_Stay left at Trilium
__And soon you’ll see
Familiae Domicilium,
The cabin, fount of memories.

_The bunkroom is where all
__We cousins ranged,
And listened to rain’s gentle fall
While jokes and stories were exchanged.

_The dinner bell would ring
__And in we’d crowd
To eat, and in this gathering
We’d visit, joyous voices loud.

_And once, we timed it right,
__By snow shut in,
Were forced to stay an extra night,
As crackling fire warmed up the den.

_Down to the lake we’d go
__Canoes to race.
Steer right to see where lilies grow,
Or left to find that peaceful place.

_But when the summer heat
__Our skin did bake,
In fish-filled streams we’d bathe our feet,
Or swim for hours in this same lake.

_We filled our days with fishing,
__Mountain bike rides;
Clay pigeons, handgun and rifle shooting
Or whizzing around in side-by-sides.

_Sometimes, in smaller groups,
__We hunted quail,
With pointers running in skillful loops
And flushing birds up from their trails.

_‘Twas priceless time I spent,
__This much is clear,
When only I and Papa went
To hunt for big-racked, rutting deer.

_Fair Bethany changed my life
__Nigh that cascade
Of water, agreeing to be my wife
Under the woodland’s pleasant shade.

_Deep mem’ry is, I find,
__A funny thing:
Most days it isn’t top of mind,
Then rushes on me, tears to bring.

_Just as the rains will fill
__Some stone-ringed well,
Until the water, brimming, spills
And o’er the well-built boundary swells.

_So I, with outstretched hand,
__Pass by the turn,
As if my fingers could demand
From time more memories to learn.

_For soon it’s far behind,
__This special place.
The road continues, and I find
That most good mem’ries have a face.

_If God is love, then love
__Eternal is.
Love’s mem’ries God will store above
Till he can fully share what’s His.

_So never think them vain,
__Love’s memories
That you see through your rearview pane.
It’s how we taste eternity.



Nathaniel Todd McKee lives in the Appalachian foothills of Southeastern Tennessee, where he is a Financial Manager. 

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One Response

  1. Roy Eugene Peterson

    The nostalgic cabin scene is one I remember with fondness. Yours may have been in Appalachia by your short bio. Mine was in the Black Hills at a summer camp my family always inhabited for a week at Camp Judson. Unfortunately, that cabin is now underwater, of not moved, since Lake Pactola now covers the entire encampment. The smells, sights, and sound still flood my mind with memories of learning to pay ping pong for the first time, of the surrounding whispering pines with their heady wood perfume penetrating my nostrils, and of my becoming enamored with pretty girls from other towns around the state at the age of 12.


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