Michael Dwayne Smith: Blues for a Day

Blues for a Day

Old man always pay me
with confederate bills. Got a box
full now, collected in the back of the store,
and we all just giving away what little he needs
from town. His hands shake
with Dixie, fumble with tore up paper,
money pulled from his pocket,
coins, keys, box of matches. Boot flask
always warm with sour mash.
Sit on the porch in a late September
listening to lazy crickets and
scratchy records—Otis Wright and Heavenly
Dreamers and The Roses of Sharon. Sit down
beside his Jesus in a setting sun.
Killdeers call at dawn, and he shambles
down a dirt road, saying “Good Morning”
to mailboxes or field mice, and it’s a hard life,
full of all kind of troubles, but Lord,
we walk with you, until it’s time to fly up
to be with our Mamas again. Will be done. Lord,
so soon our troubles be done.
One of these days, one of these hot, devil-damp,
live-long days. These waiting for glory days, Lord,
will be done, be done with these days,
and I’ll be listening
to the joy way down, way down
in my dead-sorry soul. Singing. Singing, “Glory,
Lord,” we’ll be done, one day. Wait and see.

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