by Lawrence J. J. Leonard
Merle Ronald Haggard
April 6, 1937 – April 6, 2016
American singer, songwriter, guitarist, fiddler, and instrumentalist
of Bakersfield , California
‘If we make it through December’ was blaring,
I remember that ember burning bright like Pemba in the sun.
It was churning, enduring. I was learning
the female gender was splendor, and so I pledged to defend her.
Radio still playing what Merle was praying,
saying it’s good to be free, just stay off ‘the fighting side of me.’
“I recall last Sunday morning a choir from ‘cross the street
Came to sing a few old gospel songs
And I heard him tell the singers ‘There’s a song my mama sang.
Can I hear once before we move along?'”
No, I didn’t get to Bakersfield this week.
A blend of music came from there that whispers to your soul to run
through the evergreen forests, down to the creek,
where so many horseshoes have been tossed over my good friend’s shoulder.
‘That’s the way love goes’ when your heart wants to speak.
I’m told squares can have a ball. It’s just that I’m not from Muskogee.
“Sing me back home, the song my mama sang
Make my old memories come alive
Take me away and turn back the years
Sing Me Back Home before I die”
Good night, amigo.
Copyright © 1960-2016 Lawrence J. J. Leonard All rights reserved.