. . .A Country Store's Dying Words
The sad death of our country stores
Here I die slowly by night. My doors ajar, drafts at ease
Voices trail inside my timbered grooves so sweet,
There's grandpa William, who barely gets by to eat
Oh the pain of little Zelma Katherine no shoes on bloody feet.
In days of youth, I stood proud listening to the older ones proud
Of courtin' the girls, shooting the squirrels, letting breath slowly die.
My food was sweet. I gave my seat, to travelin' bo's so sad.
From man to man, and hand to hand, never wasting life's crusts I had.
I wasn't named. Not even a birth. But "their" hearts beat for me
Pourin' rains, blues with pains, and a couple by the heat.
A pair of eyes, hopeful eyes, staring off to where no one sees.
A wrinkled hand, a nameless man, and I watched his head bow low.
His land was raped by greedy plans. His faith now mere sand.
I stood. I watched. I welcomed. Until the day "they" didn't come.
Tarnished seed, rotting meat and milk for baby's lip.
Some needful dirt, a laugh, a hurt. An arm around a corpse.
My days are done. I die with the sun. And recall "his" first love.
His eyes were sharp. His tune by harp, and ignorant hope a-bloom.
There are his kids. "Their" kids and death bids at the door.
Another meal. Another appeal, to keep "my" foundation strong.
Alas the time. The acursed sweet time. Slow and sure
One last cent. The buyer's last cent. My door is being shut.
The dust, the patient dust. Now it's "his" turn to dance.
I've had my way. Built my days. And rot alone with you.
What tales this frame could tell
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