Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ghost Road Song


Ghost Road Song

for my father, 11/19/1927 – 6/27/2009

I need a song.
I need a song like a river, cool and dark and wet,
like a battered old oak; gnarled bark,
bitter acorns,
a song like a dragonfly:
shimmer - hover - swerve -
like embers, too hot to touch.

I need a song like my father’s hands:
scarred, callused, blunt,
a song like a wheel,
like June rain, seep of solstice,
tang of waking earth.

I need a song like a seed:
a hard and shiny promise,
a song like ashes:
gritty, fine, scattered;
a song like abalone, tough as stone,
smooth as a ripple at the edge of the bay.

I need a song so soft, it won’t sting my wounds,
so true, no anger can blunt it,
so deep, no one can mine it.

I need a song with a heart wrapped in barbed wire.

I need a song that sheds no tears,
I need a song that sobs.
I need a song that skates along the edge of black ice,
howls with coyotes,
a song with a good set of lungs,
a song that won’t give out, give up,
give in, give way:
I need a song with guts.

I need a song like lightning, just one blaze of insight.

I need a song like a hurricane,
spiraled winds of chaos,
a snake-charming song,
a bullshit-busting song,
a shut-up-and-listen-to-the-Creator song.
I need a song that rears its head up like a granite peak
and greets the eastern sky.

I need a song small enough to fit in my pocket,
big enough to wrap around
the wide shoulders of my grief,
a song with a melody like thunder,
chords that won’t get lost,
rhythm that can’t steal away.
I need a song that forgives me my lack of voice.

I need a song that forgives my lack of forgiveness.

I need a song so right
that the first note splinters me like crystal,
spits the shards out into the universe
like sleek seedlings of stars; yes,
that’s the song
I need,

the song to accompany you
on your first steps
along the Milky Way,
that song with ragged edges,
a worn-out sun;
the song that lets a burnt red rim
slip away into the Pacific,
leaves my throat
healed at last.

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