Bluegrass Lamentation

Bluegrass Lamentation

Issue 2 * Spring 2000

            tortoise shell pick
                furiously undulating
            mandolin tremolo

Five years I been gone from the
hills of old Virginia
    where the mountain meets the sky
there I had my heart broken

    Saw you in the arms of another man
    left on a hotshot freight train
    West of midnight
        gibbous moon risin’ high
            three fingers pick steel strings
                vibrating above drum head
            hot licks on the banjo
California dream
    been my destruction
Where my lover was
    my murderer

my ghost wandered back to the hills of my home
to drift between hill and holler
    following your love
only to stop at your cabin door

seen your teardrops fall
    evaporate like mirage
    on cast iron stove
seen your calico dress
    hangin’ by your bed
    drippin’ with tears

and you hear me creepin’ cross your shingles

            bow smoothly drawn
            fiddle whines and shimmies

now I done found out
    ghostin’ and eavesdroppin’
‘bout your brother’s consolation
over the death of your kin
on the night of my flight
    of a lover scorned
now the ache of mistaken assumption
births ghostly tears
and it is too late to feel sorrow
too late to feel pain.

            washboard bass thumpin’
            a hollow tattoo.