Thursday, 28 February 2013

I Can Hear You

'singing in the wire' 
(* a line from the song, 'Wichita Lineman' written by Jimmy Webb and sung by Glen Campbell)

The song is a clutch of mailboxes
at the end of an undulating road,
an unsteady stack of bee-hives
beside poplars.

The song is the whine from a transformer.
The song is a white bridge,
crickets, roadside grass sapped dry
through a summer that just will not let up.

The song is a power pole's pale-brown
ceramic cup receiving a direct hit.
It is a clod flung by my brother.
It is looped bars laid
against the white paper of a gravel road.

Released the month my father died,
the song can still bring me the valley
where we lived that year,
still bring me the sound of mourning,

of wind through wire, of the loneliness
of country roadside verges,
but in the end, the song does not deliver.
You can ask too much of a song.
After all, it is just a song.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

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