Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Folk Songs

Huntington Bay is an incorporated village now,
a conglomerate of ballot-casting investors
who have never seen Camden,
never been to Brooklyn.

Where we eat our organ meats and root vegetables.
Some are family farmers, lone carpenters,
middle managers,
left to figure the lost folk dances.

The mechanic and deckhand are ancestors
we find a way to weave together,
draymen are truckers, the children are athletes,
the president - no one knows what the president is.

Staying with local tunes
when we go to a small potluck dinner,
there's a song we sing when your son or your mom
is in the hospital, a reel for the end of winter.
Few of us know a long waltz called "Moving the School."

We ask the children to learn the twisting leaps
needed for Main Street staying alive.
We look for those who aren't too busy
to sing with us "Keeping in Touch
with Those Who are Out of Town."

We'll show whoever else needs it
how to keep fruit fresh for the picnic,
or an old rendition of "Decent cup o' Joe,"
or how to get to the grocery in the snow.
These are the dances we know.

And at holiday parties
we laugh about the jet packs that we don't have,
and how computers are going to take our jobs
as post-bellum shoemakers or hatters.
We laugh as we sing and steer,
dance and wrench, sew, wash, stow and carry on,
each singing what belongs to everyone else.

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