Shadows on a Dime - Ferron

    This window makes a perfect frame
    For New England leaves like painted rain
    They hold me as I hold this train
    All shadows on a dime.
    You move forward fast by holding back
    You gauge your steps and you don't look slack
    Me I'm looking backward down the track
    To see us dreamers in our prime.
    I poured my soul in Santa Cruz
    I ached all night,
    Next day I lost my shoes
    It's so optional what you may or may not lose
    in this pattern we call time.

    Fifteen years ago I worked the line
    With a thousand more all doing time
    While a foreman smiled complicit crime
    We were strangers to the plan.
    An old old woman ran the gears
    She couldn't move
    They said she'd been there forty years
    ...I think that's rude...
    'Cause forty years is forty years
    And I was only fifteen then.
    The work waged war upon our backs
    But we gauged our steps and we didn't look slack
    One day the old woman didn't come back
    I couldn't work so well and they let me go.

    But I don't forget about the factory
    I don't expect this ride to always be
    Can I give you what you want to see?
    Can we do it one more time?

    Ten years have worn this guitar down
    Its ivory whites are now mustard brown
    Its face bears cracks from every town
    Still it resonates with age.
    Where would I be without its ring?
    Who would I be if I didn't sing?
    For half a chance you spare nothing --
    A tethered bird to a tethered cage.
    I sing to you to feed the dream
    I call to you 'though it's a muted scream
    We're one on one projected beams
    Translucent future be our sage.

    Five years have blazed since she warmed my side
    She is my gift I've loved and cried
    With her level look she is my guide
    A spirit on the wing
    Our love has jostled like this train
    Or like the moon to wax and wane
    But to know somebody worth the strain --
    Me I have one gift to bring
    I cried for here then I let her down
    She let me go and then we came around
    I felt us new and I felt the ground
    And I felt myself believing.

    And now a tired conductor passes by
    He takes my ticket with a sigh
    I don't think he meant to catch my eye
    But he doesn't turn away.
    He says "I have a daughter as old as you
    And there's really nothing anyone else can do
    Do you play guitar...well good for you
    Me I play the violin"
    I imagine him with his hair jet black
    Does he hide his fiddle in the back?
    He gauged his words as the train went slack:
    The New York train stops here
    But I don't forget the factory
    I don't expect this ride to always be
    Can I give them what they want to see
    Let me do it twice -- The second time for me. 'Cause these windows make a perfect frame
    For New York buildings like upright trains
    They hold me as I hold the rain
    Fleeting shadows on a dime.

    Marco Giunco
    Work Basket Music Words