In Blanche, Brenda Kay Ledford and her mother wear the surrounding Trout Cove like a charm.A log cabin appearsin the scratches of chickens. A lonesome whippoorwill’s call at Rainbow Falls echoes mother and daughter as one with the Blue Ridge Mountains where clouds look like angels riding chariots in a hymn. Startlingly authentic, looming universally for a region the poet knows, Blanche “fords the stream,” makes “lye soap,” does laundry on “wash day” with “gnarled hands” among“wild flowers” that are “old friends.” The Blue Ridge Mountains rise--alive!
--Shelby Stephenson, former Poet Laurate of North Carolina, 2015-2018, author of Shelby’s Lady: The Hog Poems
Blanche comes to life in this memoir of poems. Ledford chronicles a story of her mother’s life, flour sacks and all. “Blanche rises before dawn, dew soaks her brogans” when she goes berry picking.“ Hens scratch hieroglyphics inthe front yard” and “The sun rises like a ruby over Shewbird Mountain.” I can see the sparkling blue eyes of Blanche Ledford. “My hands have served me well as blood veins crisscross like Blue Ridge Mountains.” These poems will make you fall in love with the amazing Blanche I knew.
--Mary Ricketson, author, I Hear The River Call My Name, Hanging Dog Creek, Shade and Shelter, Mississippi, the Story of Luke and Marian, and Keeping in Place
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