John Grey

The Traditional Singer

Another sad melody,
I swear that guitar you strum
glistens with tears.

You warble this old Appalachian folk song,
the usual eternal triangle
of killer, killed and hanging.

You pity the man,
you choke in horror at the woman’s fate,
and tremble as the rope slips around a throat
from G to C and down to F#
and back again.

No happy ditties,
no kiddy tunes,
either there’s murder
and retribution
or you’re not singing it.

When the concert’s over,
we don’t applaud so much
as mop up the blood.

© John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest books, Leaves On Pages and Memory Outside The Head, are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Lana Turner and International Poetry Review.

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