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Up Next, A Country Song

written by: John Grey


How can I explain it.
Imagine a trembling heart
and a cold wind through the upper branches
and old wounds to be pecked at
and then try to put to put a voice to that.

And then when it's late at night,
under a pale moon,
at a bar that's half inside, half outside,
and the beer on draft is golden,
and the jukebox bumps down
to the next disk,
what do you want to hear?
your mother's lullabies?
a brass band?

Not now.
Not when she's walked out on you
and you miss your folks
and your truck needs more work
than you can pay for
and you're feeling like
you're part of a body count.

This is what you need:
guitars and fiddles,
Loretta Lynn
sweetening the parallels
between your life and the words,
and a tune so personal
it could pick you out in a crowd.

It's the south.
It's the mountains.
It's the rivers and fields.
It's home.
It's songs that broadcast far
sung for people
who don't travel well.

John Grey

John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dunes Review, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Qwerty, Thin Air, Dalhousie Review and failbetter.
John Grey

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