She said what would you do if you were me :: songs and poetry

country western star

Keep Art Alive :: “Country Western Star” :: Art by Kelly Haigh

Swollen Lips, Hips and Daffodils
(by me)

She was seventeen when she left home.
One backpack was all she took.
She carried with her a tee shirt,
five cassette tapes,
a book of poetry,
her camera.
She didn’t have much money,
but she was full of ambition,
a drive in her soul seeping out through every pore.
She was leaving this small world for good,
she had miles to go,
had planned on this since the day she was born,
it was part of her DNA,
buried deep in her muscle memory,
in the contents of her gypsy soul.
The roads my middle name“,
she said out loud,
to no one.
I have too much in me to stay in one place,”
she thought,
to herself.
She was not really strong,
not really brave,
but she never did cry on anyone’s shoulder about anything,
not even when her family crumbled apart for all to see.
News of her Father’s trips and falls on the lips of all the neighbors,
talk of her household everywhere she turned,
yet she never flinched,
she never broke,
just swallowed hard and kept on going.
She had spent that Summer with the boy from across the road,
the one nobody spoke to,
the one who never said a single word.
They watched her dance with him under the stars on the Fourth of July,
whispering about what she was doing in his room;
they tried to label her the same way they did her Mother.
She just shrugged them off,
smiled at them as she walked on by,
she had other things to think about anyway,
the Big City,
her Big Plans.
He was just something to do,
to pass the time.
I will leave soon enough,”
she said out loud,
to no one.
I will not be denied,”
she sang,
like a mantra,
holding her ticket to freedom in her left hand,
off to escape from this broken down yesterday just in the nick of time.
She was not going to let it take her.
She would never be a Wife,
a Mother,
a Spinster,
a Nobody.
Not her.
And she would never love,
not even him.
Loving meant being still,
it meant opening yourself up for someone to rip you apart.
She had seen it all around her,
all the empty souls bleeding over some kiss,
or infidelity.
I ain’t going to let you break my heart again,”
she heard a million times,
Yet they all still lined up for the Big Valentine Massacre every year,
every moment,
with every breath.
She wanted none of it,
just her feet moving,
her favorite tee shirt,
some tunes in her ears,
something new to read,
a shutter to click.
Was there really anything more to life than that?
She stepped onto the bus.
She never looked back.
She never saw him standing there with daffodils in his hand.
She never heard him scream her name.
They all heard it,
it shook this tiny town.
He spoke.
He felt.
He loved.
And she was gone before he knew what to say again.

What Would You Do? (live) :: Edie Brickell

2 thoughts on “She said what would you do if you were me :: songs and poetry

  1. Beautiful poem, very revealing.

    I saw something on Twitter today (if I’m not mistaken) that Edie Brickell is performing with Steve Martin. Is that true?

Leave a Reply