A Summer Blues
The blue wall.
And the house
holding here like a bur
in the shade of Shiver Hill.
The begging and begging
for you to build again – this time
something cool and that will last
and high up in the trees.
But you aren’t the man
you appeared to be
that first night on Prospect Street.
So the hard mornings-after.
Mornings of frying eggs
in a skillet, spitting oil against
the wall, blue as a chalkhill blue.
A crust of ladybirds inked
dead in the kitchen window
and guitar strings
that might rust to blue or ring forever.
And my nights like a praying drunk –
smashed and alone and falling asleep
watching YouTube clips
of catfish rising and taking
pigeons, teal, a dog even
off the water’s broken surface.
This kind of deep dark is all I will ever earn.
from 'Country Music' (Offord Road Books, 2020), © Will Burns 2020, used by permission of the author.