Along the Black Ash Hollow Road, deep in the hardwood vale,
There sits a lonely cairn of stones that marks a tragic tale.
Sometimes I linger there and think, beneath the falling leaves
Of that cold, bleak winter night that I met Cora Eve.
The moon was hidden in the clouds as the wind began to moan
And drive the rain like coffin nails across the darkened road.
With bone white hands I gripped the wheel and drove on through the storm,
When suddenly my headlights flashed upon an unexpected form.
A woman stepped out from the gloom in a radiant white dress.
Her face was pale, her eyes were calm, though she seemed in some distress.
I stopped my car and called to her, to offer her a ride.
My offer was accepted, and she quickly stepped inside.
Her beauty was unearthly in a way I can’t describe;
She was everything that beauty is, manifested in my eyes.
She thanked me for my kindness but insisted that we leave,
And as we sped away, she said, “My name is Cora Eve.”
I asked where I should take her, and she said it wasn’t far,
As her tears betrayed her sorrow in the dash lights of my car.
“Forgive me, ma’am, if I intrude but I simply must inquire,
What brings you to this desolate spot in a circumstance so dire?”
“I was dancing in the music hall with handsome Charlie Gunn.
“The lights were bright, the big band played, and we were having fun.
When the music ended, I said goodbye, and left for home,
But Charlie Gunn ran after me and said I shouldn’t walk alone.”
“He promised that he’d keep me warm as we walked into the night
But something in his besotted smile told me it wasn’t right.
Then he led me from the road, deep in the hardwood trees,
And in that dark and private grove, Charlie put his hands on me.”
“Is there anything I can do?” I asked, “Is there someone we should call?”
She smiled at me and shook her head, “There is no one at all.”
“I’m grateful that you’ve brought me home, my turn is at the bend.”
She pointed to a weed choked drive with nothing at the end.
Then as I pulled into the driveway, I saw the charred remains
Of a house that used to be, now just a blackened stain.
I turned to her in hope she might provide some explanation,
She only smiled and walked away, toward the burnt foundation.
Then I noticed something else that I cannot explain.
Somehow her dress remained bone dry through the driving rain!
I left my car to follow her into the swirling leaves,
But when I looked to find her, there was no Cora Eve.
Confusion drove me from that place, frightened and alone,
Pondering the mystery on the Black Ash Hollow Road.
Until I saw a roadhouse sign and stopped to go inside;
There I met a waitress with whom I could confide.
“There was a dance hall here,” she said “Many years ago.
And Cora Eve once danced here, as the legend goes.
Sadly, she was murdered when her life had just begun.
They hung the man that did it, his name was Charlie Gunn.”
Despite the turning of the strange, it put my mind at ease
To understand what happened there, deep in those hardwood trees.
Sometimes I stop to visit that cairn amidst the leaves
And remember the bleak, cold winter night that I met Cora Eve.