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poetry by j matthew waters

One Bourbon

a tribute poem to John Lee Hooker

it was hot
but not too hot
and this here old man
sat back on red and plush parlor chair
right there on the sidewalk
his old gibson and radio style mic
plugged into beat-up fender amp

he started strumming this chorus
picking the verses
explaining how he hadn’t seen his girl
since night before last
strumming and picking
his feet tapping the concrete
tenement windows opening
children eyes blinking
mouths widening and smiling

neighborhood cats and dogs and
even mice are drawn to the curbside
children coming out a’running
a young woman sitting cross-legged
on second story window sill
snapping fingers and tearfully
relating to the old man’s story

they’ve all been down this road before
every single body within earshot
soulful and sad but ever so hopeful
realistically aware how it’s
easier said than done
washing away those same old blues




april two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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11 thoughts on “One Bourbon

  1. Love everything about this, John

  2. This is incredible. I love it. And I could sure get down with the beat in the street, first-person.

  3. I could hear his scratchy vocals as I read your work…. absolutely love this! Great write, John!!

  4. Pingback: One Bourbon | Teacher as Transformer

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