Dave's Mental Meanderings
Poem - "Mississippi Redemption"
He pulled up his sleeve and glanced at his watch,
Like a shackle around his wrist,
He knew there wasn’t much further to go,
He knew he wouldn’t be missed.
The whistle blew as the train sped along
But to him it was all but mute,
His thoughts darted back to the words on the page
Tucked in the pocket of his suit.
He had opened the letter two days before
On a cold Jersey morning in May,
For the very first time in his twenty-nine years
He realized he had nothing to say.
From the words she had penned he envisioned the past
And recalled what he’d promised to give her,
He had said “I’ll be yours” on the moonlit shores
Of the Mississippi River.
And now, like a dart from the fingers of fate
Thrown across the distance of years,
Those words, near forgotten, shot back through his head
And summoned the worst of his fears.
He thought back to the summer he spent in her arms,
He thought back to the lying he’d done,
As the train left Knoxville far behind
He stared at the afternoon sun.
The words she had written with a pen that she borrowed
From a nurse in the maternity ward,
They shocked him so deeply that he turned away
From the life he was heading toward.
For a hustler and a gambler like he was for so long
Too much is never enough,
After all these years it took a southern belle
To finally call his bluff.
He had hopped on a train as soon as he could,
He knew that he had to make peace,
With a one-way ticket to the town she called home
His life of deception would cease.
And now, in Georgia, on the very same train,
His destination grew near,
His decision to finally own up to his past
Gave relief where once there was fear.
He stepped onto the platform in a one-horse town,
Having left Alabama behind,
East of The River and south of The Line
Where at last he’d repay her in kind.
He took a step down and drew in a breath
Which escaped with a muffled grunt,
The train would reach Vicksburg by sunset tonight
With his flattened corpse on the front.