for Jake Adam York  (1972 – 2012) 

In the timpanied tenor of penny arcades,
the red roofs of rusted tin shacks, hollowing,
in the plinking half notes of bare bulb juke joints,
we hear your song:

on stilts in swamps near gators half-breezing,
in the boiled brass cauldron bouillabaisse
bubbling, in the brined ribs and brisket slow
smoked in brick pits, we hear

your song in the scorched afterburn of good
bourbon, in the cracked red clay of dirt roads
undriven, in the low aching moan of loblollies
swaying, we hear your

song in the spluttering mutter of combines
grinding, in the shape note singing of clapboard
congregations, in the churchyards and graveyards
mossed over, tall grasses,

in the tune a child hums licking clean greasy
fingers, in the off-pitch whistle for a redbone
come running, in the symphonied cicadas, the tree
frogs tirruping,

in the deep breath beginnings of an old story,
in the borrowed voices of the exhumed, and revived,
in all of the places where you’ll never again be, Jake,
we are listening for you.

Stacey Lynn Brown, author of Cradle Song

T. S. Poetry

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: