Gone, But Not Gone (Or Not?)
A requiem for Hazelwood, NC

In 1995, the town of Hazelwood was incorporated into the larger neighboring metropolis of my hometown of Waynesville, and thereby Hazelwood officially ceased to exist. I was moved to compose the following verse in loving tribute.

Hazelwood, O Hazelwood,
Center of Diversified Industry:
What cruel, sad fate
Hath late befallen ye?

Hazelwood, my Hazelwood,
Where are you at?
Whither Jim's Drive-In's chili burgers
Which helped us get so fat?

Hazelwood, sweet Hazelwood,
Be these grim tidings truth?
What now of "Fat Man" Carroll's Game World,
Beloved land of Tempest in my youth?

Hazelwood, brave Hazelwood,
How deserv'st thou this strife?
At Gas & Groceries #3 I got my first job
Plus my first threat on my life.

Hazelwood, poor Hazelwood,
Thou late, lamented town:
Outlived by even the Branigan's sign
Countless years after the place burned down.

Dayco, Enmark, Five Points Hardware,
That Hardee's with vast parking space;
Blimpie's, Doc Prevost's, and the Country Club
(Ne'er even called Hazelwood's in the first place):

All these things I mourn, though well I know
Every last one still be there.
But the notion of calling this Waynesville
To me just seems utterly quar.

Though it may seem harmless progress,
Can "Sylvawhee" and "Raldurchap" but follow?
Next "Mexada" and "United Euramerfrica,"
Leaving one bite-sized world for The Beast to swallow?

Thus to the people of "West Waynesville"
I now pray and wish upon a star:
Hazelwood, O Hazelwood,
Come back from where you are;
And I beg thee not to be on fire.

Dedicated with love to Ruffin Prevost and all the other orphans of the Hazelwood Holocaust


(Originally published in The Lard Letter, September 1995.)

D. Trull