By Nancy Brewer
You have no business here,
You tortured, crafted passageway.
You come here uninvited.
I have claimed this place as mine
for half a billion years,
From a Pre-Cambrian time.
And three hundred million plus, I rose
in proud grandeur,
When our land mass bumped Africa.
Then I stood as high as my brothers,
Rain and ice lifted layer after layer
And gently blew away my flakes of skin,
Softening my peaks, nourishing life.
Three brief centuries back, the intruders came,
Shaving and cutting my granite, my gneiss, my schist.
Timbering the deep verdant hillsides,
Scarce allowing fifty years for them to grow.
When I shift my weight and shower down
Upon their passages,
They groan and grumble of inconvenience,
And they bore spears deep into my heart.
Making way for millions more intruders.
The river can remain,
She, too, trespassed upon.
Though she helped to carve my face.
For long now we’ve been friends.
But Highway 64,
Get your business done, for your time here is short
Before I reclaim what is mine.
(Editor’s Note: This guest “Viewpoint,” written as a poem, was composed and submitted by Nancy Brewer, former executive director of the Opportunity for Adult Reading program in Cleveland and Bradley County, and who is now a resident of Hiawassee, Ga. Titled “The Intruder,” it was originally written following the U.S. Highway 64 rockslide in 2009. It has been provided to the Cleveland Daily Banner in response to the most recent Ocoee River Gorge rockslide which occurred in Polk County last week.)