Her Song

(An adaptation of Alison Luteman's poem "Song", from See How We Almost Fly)

 

This morning I was back in Tennessee

I had an early flight out of Nashville

My thoughts were miles away from my seat

When music caught the tip of my ear

 

It was rich and pure from a far away place

Far from music city

As I listened my thoughts held still

And now that I'm back home I can still hear her song

 

I dismissed the clicks of fresh cowboy boots

And the hum of luggage whizzing by

I was cradled by her voice as I waited to board

And now that I'm back home I can still hear her song

 

She was singing to herself in a high thin voice

Thin and sweet with a little blue

She was loaded with mops and industrial cleaners

Her cart jingled softly as she slowly walked by

 

A small brown woman frizzy hair and headscarf

Her gold tooth flashed when she smiled

What price did she pay to be here today

What was her secret to singing while wiping up spit

 

She was singing to herself in a high thin voice

Thin and sweet with a little blue

She was loaded with mops and industrial cleaners

Her cart jingled softly as she slowly walked by

 

Bags of luggage dragged down the walkway

Like souls unsure of their body

Stuffed with shirts and sock and new boots

All sewn in different factories

By hands as small and brown and tough

As the hands of the singing lady

 

Ten gallon hats on phones hurried by

Past food courts and boot polish chairs

The stickers in the shops said, "These colors won't run"

We're at war again we're always at war

 

My last glimpse of her she was fading away

Pushing her towering unsteady cart

Swaying her mops and dusters and cloth

I know she was smiling as her voice sang soft

 

She was singing to herself in a high thin voice

Thin and sweet with a little blue

She was loaded with mops and industrial cleaners

Her cart jingled softly as she slowly walked by

 

And now that I'm back home

I can still hear

Her song