He loved the story and would tell it
at any gathering where the family in question
or any of their distant kin were mentioned.
�Old man Hillard Taylor, you know he always said
third grade was all the education he needed
for his acreage, had worked his self red-faced
slashing at brush and hacking low limbs
trying to open up the path to the Taylor cabin.
When Ben Simpson came along in his Model T
and asked old Taylor what he was about,
Hillard explained that he had had a letter
from his son away at Fort Wood in the service.
The boy had written that he was �coming in on a furlough�
and everybody knew they could barely get a mule
up this path.�  The last time he told it
was at the meal after they buried the Muse boy
sent home from Vietnam in his flag-draped box.
Some few chuckled.  Some coughed and all
looked away, out a window and over the fields
as though watching for the foreign words to come. 
Michael Chitwood