John's Song

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John's song

We were always caught between one fire and another

from salt and burn to salt and burn
And in the rearview mirror
I could always see your mother.
I asked her if our path was good; I said I’d always love her
I wanted her to meet my gaze I asked her is there something braver
But her eyes would never waver
Off of you or off your brother.


Now finally she speaks to me
Her voice is low beseeching
and all through the years and the spin of the seasons
our lonely lives have been defined by tracking down this demon
but you have always known that life is lived for other reasons…


well you’re barely breathing
and your mother is reaching
and even if it’s gone from me the echo of my soul
Is on some midnight road meandering where apples grow
With the buzz of our flickering car radio
caught shifting between two stations
between the heartripping wail of an electric guitar
And some beautiful woman singing blues about salvation
fading in and out of one another
And they go together
And you’re both asleep in the backseat forever.


I gave you your weapons and taught you to aim true
Seems to me there’s nothing more a father can do
We were always caught between one blaze and another
Fire ahead and behind us, your mother
Was nodding her head – or she was shaking it no
Fire behind and now fire below.


And even if it’s gone from me the echo of my soul
stays on some darkened road meandering where apples grow
The buzz of the flickering car radio
caught shifting between two stations
between the heartripping wail of an electric guitar
And some beautiful woman singing blues about salvation
fading in and out of one another
And they go so together
And you’re both asleep in the backseat forever.

I’ll be watching my sons sleeping in the backseat forever.

– Olivia Chrestomanci,

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