February 19, 2017


The verdict came down “Guilty” On my first offense,
The jury wouldn’t listen to my plea of self-defense,
They said I should have chatted with the man who shot at me,
And sent me off to Huntsville, To max security;

I said to Maud, “Get goin’, I’m going to set you free,
Put on your boots and cowgirl hat, Find something more than me;”
Maud said, “We made a deal forever, Don’t try to turn me loose,
We vowed till hell froze over, I ain’t goin’ to vamoose;

We promised through every sorrow, Through all the storms and strife,
I ain’t leavin’ now or ever, I’m stayin’, I’m your wife.”

I said “ Listen to me, I’m telling you the truth,
You won’t make me happy, Wasting all your youth,
Pain just ain’t what life’s about, You’ve got happy things to do,
Life is short and precious, Girl, Your life belongs to you;

Life ain’t no dress rehearsal, You get no second act,
I’m gone from you forever, You’ve got to face the fact;
If you want to do the right thing, Here’s what you can do,
Forget you ever knew me, ‘Cause I’m forgetting you.”

Prison was a hell-hole, Where evil men can thrive,
You morphed from man to monster, If you wanted to survive;
You’re tested every moment, And treated like a slave,
If you’re human you won’t make it, You’ll be headed for a grave;

The bull-horn always blaring, Made my head feel sore,
Every day a battle, Like fighting in a war,
Faces sneered and threatened, You knew you were alone,
It sucked away your goodness, And turned your heart to stone;

Maud had written to me, And she had tried to phone,
I didn’t ever answer, And it cut me to the bone,
She came and tried to see me, Most every visit day,
I said she was a bother, And had her turned away.

She kept writing country music And playin’ on the stage,
Groupies came to concerts, And fans of every age;
They heard her on the radio, Strummin’ her guitar,
People loved her yodelin’, And Maud became a star;

When the warden said, “Your time is up, go out and breathe free air,”
It didn’t matter to me, ‘Cause now I didn’t care,
I was simmering and silent, Twenty years had made their mark,
I hated every sunrise, My soul was something dark;

On a flat-bed truck outside the gate I saw a country band,
Maud was giving orders, The “mike” was in her hand,
When she saw the gate swing open, There wasn’t any dread,
She shouted at the cowboys, “Here he comes!” she said.

Maud had on her cowgirl hat, Quite a sight to see,
She began to sing a country song, Some words she wrote for me:

“The years have flown, My Darlin’, Like leaves are blown from trees,
No sense to try to catch ‘em, They’re swirling in the breeze,
We’re not lookin’ backward, Like some fools chased by Fate,
We’ll twang the beat-up banjo, ‘Cause it is not too late,

Not too late to climb a mountain, To struggle and to sweat,
Or pick a spot along the trail, To watch a red sunset,
Not too late for splashin’ barefoot Along a sandy shore,
Or watch the seagulls diving, Or hear the ocean roar,

Not too late to see the bluebirds, Comin’ back in spring,
Or hear thrushes in the bayou, When they start to sing,
Not too late for laughter, Not too late for song,
We know what we are after, We know where we belong;

We’ll make new beginnings, No matter where or when,
Music is our magic, Hon, And we’ll be young again;
We’ll take back from Mr. Time, The joys that we’ve dreamed of,
It’s not too late, My Dear One, It’s not too late to love.”

Maud had kept my pick-up truck, I told her I would drive,
She cuddled close beside me, It was okay to be alive,
With this crazy woman, The trip was goin’ to be a fling,
I looked out the side-window, And saw bluebirds on the wing.

I wondered about the road ahead, And forgot about the past,
With Maud and country music, Life just might be a blast;
I thought about the song she wrote, Tears made my eyes glisten,
A lucky thing for fools like me, Some women never listen.

Copyright © by Jim Douthit 2017

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