Bring me all your hopes,
Bring me all your heartbeats of hope.
That I may wrap them in a deep red cloth,
Away from the rejecting souls of the world. -CB -----Sugar Loaf Elementary School
(Jennifer Nettles, of Sugarland. Getty Images)
(a letter-poem written for Debbie McGill while traveling back home to North Carolina)
Dear Debbie, Last night I watched the Country Music Awards,
thinking all the way through it how seldom real melody
burst through that slick Nashville razzle-dazzle: The worst of it?
A black leather mini-dress hugging a backside that looked to be
bigger than mine. Or, those false sequined eyelashes
three inches long on the bland baby-blues of the mistress of ceremonies--
two dozen changes of wardrobe and two dozen layers
of lipstick! Why did I keep watching? Waiting for Sugarland,
the duo from Georgia whose singer wears nary a false eyelash
and does her own hair.* Who sings like a dove
or a diva, depending on whichever song she writes. Heck, why be pompous
about it? A good song’s a good poem. And Lordy, how I wanted one
to rise out of that racket and make me sit stock still and listen.
We both wanted that, you and me, and for almost four years we found
it. Well, most of the time. Yep, we made a good Search Party,
savvy and just enough serious, just enough silly to giggle through
e-mails and telephone calls, and you patient enough to put up with
my own diva tantrums. ( You know what I’m talking about!)
Now I feel like I’m losing my lodestar, my compass, my native scout
leading the way through the sagebrush. A real poet herself,
though she never would talk about that. Whose editor’s pen
could work magic. (Pero siempre con palabras muy dulce.)
I found my own Sugarland there at the Arts Council,
the two of us singing duets that we’ll never forget,
like a good country song, or the aria I’m listening to now
on the radio, praising the ongoing sweetness of art. Love you,
* Jennifer Nettles
Below, a new country music duo: The Sweet Heartbeats! Now that Debbie is no longer Literature Director, she can write her own poetry. Stay tuned to your favorite country blogspot for their songs!
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