Poem: And the Dead Shall be Raised

Spanish moss

And the Dead Shall be Raised

Spanish moss hangs from the Live Oak,
a slow, beautiful murderer in the big city,
redolent of memories, blue music and smokey rooms,
drag queens crooning, a fight or two
late in the night while you sipped bourbon,
content in the corner,
listening less to the music than an internal dialogue,
devils and angels in your head
dancing a tattoo, making sultry peace with each other
as you scanned the crowd, seeking a distraction
as you courted oblivion at the stroke of midnight.

You sigh,
there is no glory in the memories. Life lived
and long ago discarded, without regrets
and without longing, happier to be in the light,
but parts of you were shaped by dark nights,
bluesy music and the grind of tinder before tinder,
a fire that never took in you,
a dead man in a plaid shirt in the corner of the bar
who somehow left more alive than he arrived.

About this poem.

There’s old times blues playing at my favorite diner. That’s what inspired this poem that is only partially autobiographical.

I do love old smoky blues bars. There are fewer of them here in Vermont than in the south where I lived most of my life. I lose myself in the music and atmosphere.

I am rarely happy with my poems. This one, I am happy with.

Tom

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