To your right a girl calls out “Sing one,
Merle,” and the stocky boy tucks his chin
toward his guitar, blushing, and the blind man
looks up as if we are friends of the near neighbors
who’ve come by to pick and sing and the moon
a kerosene lantern turned up so the gap in the hills
is near as the gap in the trees across the grassless
yard, and his voice smiles, a different light: “Merle,
she sounds pretty enough to make you sing one,”
and then the pick a hummingbird’s wing, each
darting note of the old fiddle tune distinct yet arced
like a shooting star beyond the mountain top,
and Merle adds the bass and chords, pretending
he is home again and in the music he is and we
pretend we are, too, as the moon darkens behind the hill
leaving only the dark ridge and the spray of stars.


~  ~  ~

IMG_4661Tim Hunts publications include the collections Fault Lines and The Tao of Twang and the chapbooks Redneck Yoga and Thirteen Ways of Talking to a Blackbird. He has been awarded the Chester H. Jones National Poetry Prize and twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives, oddly, in Normal, Illinois. “Doc Watson, Bailey Hall, Cornell, 1967″ is from a set of Ticket Stubs & Liner Notes.