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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

A Familiar Walk

A familiar walk is taken every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday – 

across college street, a few blocks away. 

However, it seems strange on the midafternoon of this Wednesday 

that the class walks towards, but not at, the plant’s mainstay. 

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The students are prepared for art – 

to create it, but must be inspired first. 


The walk to work is filled with things I did not realize. 

The parking lot of lines and colors 

were once filled with lives going to and from the mill. 

Art now makes a friend with history. 


We pass the people at the creek, 

yet these workers work unbeknownst to me 

because you can’t see them from the farm 

and you cannot see the home – made of tarp, 

a life living in the grass, near the creek. 


Continuing further, mills meets college street. 

The houses are in a row of blue, yellow, and white, 

looking down on the medical cars, lined in a fleet. 

The art projects are where families once spent their day and night. 


There is a church behind the row. 

One from long ago. 

A place where love was grown 

so much so that my professor is here today. 


A farm community from once before – 

they had an open spring for fresh water. 

Dirt, fence, electricity: the farm has met its maker – 

well a portion of it sits about a quarter a mile away. 

A community turned into half an acre. 


The ice house became a station to gas. 

Once a place to fill a void of bleakness 

that only the righteous Baptists could pass, 

but in quiet would they enter and get their dirty secret. 


Actually, that hasn’t changed, 

the people pass the farm 

and can easily obtain 

what they need in order to numb the pain. 


A familiar walk turns into learning the unfamiliar. 

Are you students ready to create art? 

But I am suffocated by the parameters. 

My answer is “but haven’t I already had my start?” 


The food grown, ground up. 

The hard work dedicated everyday – 

In hopes of giving the people at least a cup. 

Fresh veggies and juicy fruit is what we’ve made. 


Well that itself is art, who are you to say 

That its anything if not creativity, beauty, imagination that 

is made every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. 

as I walk a familiar walk. 


Written by Cat Strickland

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