hank williams

hank one

was singing out

into the night

& she reached over

to change the station

I said c’mon honey

you know the rules

driver chooses the music

shotgun sits & listens

counts down the miles

she changed it anyway

gave me such a sweet smile

so I switched again

found hank 3 singing

about pills & divorces

which only brought a scowl

we were surely heading

straight to hell

please

she’s a great looking kid

got a great voice

& she wants to work in the industry

have a career singing to millions

go beyond beyonce or taylor

all said with a sweet smile

covering soft the avarice behind

she has not worked the entertainment mills

the bars cabarets supper clubs

singing late afternoons for two

the bored the drunks the bored drunks

singing for a wage for love for pennies

the experience the heart highs lows

& how do you say to anybody

come back another time

after you’ve been hurt

brought to your knees

found your own voice

heart

depth of soul

please

burned out

there was a time

my ancestors say to me

late in the day

when the moon is low

the wind is sleeping

the sand ceases to move

of a time

when shut up

was never heard

we would bang our drums

sing until morning

or the singing was done

in this way our hands

reached back all the way

to those gone before

& then came

the time of shut up

we were not to talk

sing of these things

that connected us

to those who no longer

walk the day

& like the fire

before you now

growing colder

this is how they

burned us out

ended our culture