Spring 2010

Wearing Mr. Song

So what if her voice is just a half beat ahead of the tape.
Strings swelling somewhat over the Mall, all these people
All this color, a dash of cold to keep everyone awake

And sing she did wearing a gray chapeau from Mr. Song
How righteous is that? The trim, just so.

How righteous is Aretha early morning, so damn happy.

A President who looks like a skinny version of her brother,
A second cousin, an old boyfriend. The helpful guy at the bank.

How can you thank the Lord better than that preacher from California
Who seemed to think he was at some crystal palace, the walls cracked
And crumbling under the weight of his bigotry? Truth be told.

She will have none of that. Oh no. She sings “sweet land of liberty.”
Voice crackles in places where once it climbed fearless of octaves

It is still her voice. She’s still Aretha. This is America.
And things do change. And change can come.

When it needs to.

PATRICIA SPEARS JONES

 

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