Walking Through Your Song in My Soul

Walking Through Your Song in My Soul

A Chapter by Marie Anzalone
"

written for Emma's song contest- works best if you listen before you read

"

Letter to the late Utah Philips on his song  "Walking Through Your Town in the Snow"

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dj_slZCEPKU

 

Growing up country poor, I knew that man, of whom you sing-

the one you don't let us disavow, this time;

a stranger unto us all, head down, shuffling along down our streets.

Through your words, I feel the snow balling into ice on his cuffs;

the water seeping into thin cotton socks

inside worn, cracked boots, mottled like old doorframes.

Vapor from his breath forms crystals in his mustache,

which he removes carefully, as they pinch and hurt;

and his hands are stuck in mispatched gloves stuffed in pockets

of someone's cast-off parka.

I feel the chilled pain in his jaw from cold sinuses,

clenched teeth throb in front of a parched tongue,

each handful of snow consumed seems to only take

more moisture out of a mouth already raw and sore.

It is late, and both lonesomeness and the home in his bag

weigh him down now, the pack

soaked through where it set in meltwater;

and that insistent dull ache radiating

from somewhere underneath the coat, reminding him

it's been hours since a burger- and his metabolism

can't quite keep up with this chill,

as snow squeaks underfoot like a rusty hinge

on a doorway to the underworld.

There are few worse feelings than knowing there's no place

for a man to rest his weary feet;

small towns don't have 24-hour shops for people with no dollar to spend.

I want to see through your eyes, Utah,

that day you were inspired to draft these haunting chords

that put this tired wanderer on our street, make him one of us,

Cleverly, through the use of "your town", instead of "a town";

you bring him home, outside our front door, walking past the Post Office.

I implore you, teach me how to pen your vision, please-

for we need to see again, so badly,

in a world gone cold with heartlessness.

Show me how to make others see it, too, like you did for me-

feeling numbness and resignation emanate from each powdery footprint

left by aching arches and cramped toes. Most of all-

help me make those others imagine, for once,  "let's pretend this is me",

and be moved, so-

to bring that man a thermos of soup; some warm bread,

and a place d****t just to rest a single night,

when he walks next through their own town.

Help me make him merely human.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



© 2012 Marie Anzalone


Author's Note

Marie Anzalone
Compassion seems to be a dying art.

Can't seem to get the video to work, but please give the song a listen before you read. Thanks.
-Marie

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Featured Review

"Vapor from his breath forms crystals in his mustache,
which he removes carefully, as they pinch and hurt;
and his hands are stuck in mispatched gloves stuffed in pockets
of someone's cast-off parka."
...wow-you do really have a talent for imagery---jealous here:)
"I implore you, teach me how to pen your vision, please-
for we need to see again, so badly,
in a world gone cold with heartlessness."
...and this is existentially gorgeous!!!
i love your work!!!

james:-)

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

This was very well told with tremendous insight and feeling. Highly moving, yet so sad...really well done...

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

so much of your poetry closes me to amen

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

' Vapor from his breath forms crystals in his mustache,
which he removes carefully, as they pinch and hurt;
and his hands are stuck in mispatched gloves in pockets
of someone's cast-off parka. '

You dipped your pen into an enormous flow of empathy when you wrote this poem, it's a beautiful and very moving tragedy.

I can't type more, choked up.


tragedy.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on June 18, 2010
Last Updated on August 12, 2012

A Pilgrimage in Epistles: Poems as Letters and Observations


Author

Marie Anzalone
Marie Anzalone

Xecaracoj, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala



About
Bilingual (English and Spanish) poet, essayist, novelist, and technical writer working in Central America. "A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start argume.. more..

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