West Virginia: A Poem

Your river veins, your heart of coal
Seneca’s body, Spruce’s soul

A quiet perfection–to some, unknown
It is you, my God, my home

Quivering dewdrop tracing stem
Shaded eaves for root and limb

Sunlight pierces through on loam
My God, my home

Warm wind on ridges and all in between
Swaying guard above me ever-long, evergreen

Without your touch, I am alone
My God, my home

River flood, or sleet and storm
Demanding only what is yours

But your mercy is still known
My God, my home

Your misty, fog-blessed start of day
On October leaves or frosted May

I yearn for places I have yet to roam
My God, my home

A bonfire blazing in a backcountry camp
Your deer, your trout, your morels, your ramps

Hill-borne provisions in a hill-borne poem
My God, my home

Valley of life, in dark of night so long
Whisper winter’s silence, sing summer’s song

Formation of rock, in light of day
If I should leave, I won’t stay away

For someday they shall lay to rest my bones
In you, my God, my home


Spruce Knob. Photo by Aaron P. Kittle.


Author Biography

(Kittle is an Elkinte.com contributor)

Aaron P. Kittle is an Elkins native – a 1999 graduate of Elkins High School and a 2004 graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College. Always creatively involved in music, art and design, Kittle began his interest in poetry while writing lyrics for various local bands in which he performed, starting in 1996. Kittle later nurtured this interest at Wesleyan, where he took a course with noted West Virginia poet, Dr. Irene McKinney. Kittle cites his grandmother, Beth Guye Kittle as a source of mentoring and encouragement, having published poems in countless magazines and two of her own volumes: The Sanctioned Fruit (1998) and A Widow’s Lament (2015). Since his start, Kittle has written over 200 poems and lyrics.

Of Elkins, Kittle says, “Elkins has a very unique spirit that’s partly embedded in the people, and partly embedded in the surrounding mountains. If you embrace it, it embraces you. This place is unlike anywhere else. Here in West Virginia, worshipping God simply requires stepping outside. Growing up, people always talk about leaving West Virginia and Elkins behind…that’s something you find everywhere, but Elkins is the kind of home one always longs for. I’ll always be an Elkinite.”

Kittle is employed as marketing director at Jenkins Subaru-Hyundai in Bridgeport, where he lives with his wife, Jessica.