This poem appeared in my brief self-published chapbook Words from the Labyrinth which I distributed to friends instead of holiday greeting cards one year.
© Ray Zimmerman, 2014
Cranes circle over Dayton, Tennessee, turn eastward.
Said to be an ancient species with millennia of history,
they provide a tourist attraction for neighboring Meigs County.
Dayton is home to Bryan College, named for an attorney.
He prosecuted a man named Scopes for teaching
human evolution, a banned subject at the time.
Bryan won his case against the famous
Clarence Darrow after losing a presidential bid,
as dramatized in the film, Inherit the Wind.
Faculty at Bryan College sign an oath affirming
Young Earth Creationism, implying the cranes
could not have a history of more than five thousand years.
The trial is presented again and again in a festival and play.
Tourists are asked to join a debate in which the cranes offer no opinion.
They seem to enjoy the corn fields though.