Lead Belly

My God, my God, don’t lie to me or I’ll die.
Where were you last night when it wasn’t
right that I had nowhere to sleep?

I prayed to you and was afraid the whole night through,
and became blue when I found that you lied to me when
you sang the Rock Island Line in slang.

I traveled on shoeless feet in the heat and it shouldn’t
have been like that. I laid my head on the railroad track
waiting for you to come back.

I humbly, begged you for a breakfast song when you
came along. I showed you my bloody and blistered feet
that were no longer fleet.

Do you mind people grinning in your face in this small space?
I cried out and then cried with tears, and almost fell down the stairs
because, my God, my God, you never sing my songs,

or send a sign that you’re not languishing, forgotten in a cotton field
where you’re reduced to working too hard to produce the music of a
doctor making rounds, sounds we need to survive and really stay alive.

I cannot live without your words, promising to chop no more
cotton, so you can use the blues to show all the hues leading to
the promised land where no one wears chains.

Everything there is covered with flowing bright red love, like liquid
sunshine lighting and inviting all the enlightening words allowed
to crowd through your dancing lips.

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