Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Poem: Bluegrass


When the guitar begins
and the fiddle joins in,
the beat of my heart
triples.
The twang of a voice
grown amid the blue
grass of some Kentucky field
shakes my body and starts
my soul to quiver.
Suddenly I am
in another place,
a place where Mama sings
like a bluebird on a window sill
and my Uncle John is still alive,
clapping with his calloused hands.
Preacher's Native skin
is nut brown and warm
with life.
My heartbeat is the rhythm,
and rapid tears baptize my cheeks.
Oh, sweet friends on that stage,
how did you know the note to play,
the note that calls down fire
of Holy Spirit falling
through the hours and the miles
that separate?
How can I stand here in Tupelo
and also, somehow,
hold my mother's hand at Pilgrim's Way
and hug my Aunt Rosemary
as they lay her husband down?
The creek that runs through woods,
underneath a slatted bridge,
runs like tears from all the corners
of the earth,
and the music you are playing is the music I'll be hearing
when my Jesus calls me home.

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