Diamond City, Stories / Story Tellers

The Graveyard on Shackleford Banks

Gretchen Guthrie Guthrie

The trees are silent on the shore
And from the few time-rotted stumps
Which mark our fathers’ resting place
There grow thick vines and briar clumps.

Unmarked are the burial mounds
Of those – bare-waisted and bronzed-faced –
Who roamed the Outer Banks before
Our fathers’ way their way replaced.

Here on this lump – the humus of
Years past and native bone –
Both peoples stood in their own day
And read the ring around the moon.

Ghost-like shadows rise and moving
Through the landscape genuflect
In honor due those buried on
The Chancel Rail of Carteret.

Tribal chiefs meets family head
In time rolled back through many doors
Ancestral Bankers talk tonight –
The trees are silent on the shore.

From "Our Shared Past" prepared for the Diamond City & Ca'e Bankers Reunion, August 1999 as a collection of writings, research and recollections to tell the story of the Banks communities.
Copyright 1995, Core Sound Waterfowl Museum
All rights reserved.

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