Listening to WBT

Listening to WBT
by Ron Rash

All you had to do was turn the knob
until the light clicked on and soon you’d find
rising out of static was your life.
Everytime you heard “The Weave Room Blues”
or “Cotton Mill Colic No. 3” you felt
like a deer that risked a meadow, its eyes
lifted to see the barrel too late.
Someone had caught you in his sights,
hit you solid in the guts
with all the things that you had thought
you didn’t want to think too long about.
But days later you’d catch yourself
humming those lines as you worked your shift.
Maybe it was the banjo and guitar,
the way they prettied up the words,
that made those songs lighten up your heart
like a deep-water Baptist hymn.
Or maybe in the end it was the words,
the bare-assed truth making a stand
in a voice that could have been your own.

     Eureka Mill
     Hub City Press, September 15, 2001

Listening to WBT