Monday, January 30, 2012

reunion in the rain

when you're lost in the rain in a back road in tennessee
on christmas eve in nineteen forty-three
and you see a light in the trees just up ahead
and you wonder if you really wouldn't be better off dead

and you push through the broken general store screen door
the first thing you see is a leg sticking out on the floor
and pappy looks up with a smile in his whiskers white
and asks if it ain't just been one hell of a night

this young lady here came at me with a knife
it was all i could do to snuff out her miserable life
excuse me sir while i drag her carcass outdoors
as soon as i do my time is entirely yours

you know you were here before in another life
on the run with sheriff john brown's brand new young wife
yes you escaped that time - escaped too well
did you really think they forgot you down in hell?

your eyes adjust to the smoky dismal scene
lit by a single lamp of kerosene
there's a knife on the counter, a bible and a magazine
you take a step closer - and can't hold back a scream

it's her on the cover - so dead yet so alive
you left her in laredo in nineteen and thirty-five
and her face you've carried since in your shrinking soul
like an endlessly burning diamond - or piece of coal

the magazine falls from your hand to the sawdust floor
a sudden wind blows through the opening door
it's over now - you know you're finally beat
you hear pappy say, jeff, i've got someone here i'd like you to meet...