Milton on Mars

Milton was a climber of the mountains up on Mars.
Waterproof on the tip of the roof with his banjo and guitars.
In the old Montgomery moonlight, he’d howl the whole night through,
And if you asked wherefore or why, he’d be like this to you:

He’d say:
Sing me Jimmy Rodgers or an old Hank Williams song.
You might see eternity, but I’ll last twice as long.
Life is naught but shadows, a few honkytonks and bars.
I’ll rest my bones in a vale of stones in the mountains—up on Mars.

I met him by the crossroads once on the down side edge of town.
A freight train in the distance, a high and lonesome sound.
A guitar strapped across his back, a banjo on his knees,
Naked as an angel in the wind above the trees.

He said:
Sing me Jimmy Rodgers or an old Hank Williams song.
You might see eternity, but I’ll last twice as long.
Life is naught but shadows, a few honkytonks and bars.
I’ll rest my bones in a vale of stones in the mountains—up on Mars.

I never saw him after, but I think of him a lot.
I count the years, the tears and fears, and I down another shot.
You may say it’s senseless to wonder when I’m dry
Why hello’s so much harder than whispering good-bye.

I say:
Sing me Jimmy Rodgers or an old Hank Williams song.
You might see eternity, and I’ll last twice as long.
Life is naught but shadows, a few honkytonks and bars.
I’ll rest my bones in a vale of stones in the mountains—up on Mars.

5 May 2020

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