Down Below the James - Brian Rose

    I spoke my name out loud
    it floated like a cloud
    Not knowing that I was freed
    I quivered like a reed
    whispering my name
    down below the james

    what will the season yield
    the dusty peanut fields
    buried under the soil
    are the workers who toiled
    my history and shame
    down below the james

    what smoke thin ghost is want
    among these tin roof haunts
    endless trains of coal
    pass by the old swimming hole
    the black water in my veins
    down below the james

    to those who calls his name
    a southern god lays claim
    I woke as the smoke rose higher
    I was nailed to a cross of fire
    but I would not take the blame
    down below the james

    andy hill
    how was he killed
    by a god of wrath
    thy rod and thy staff
    will not ease the pain
    down below the james

    mr and mrs rose
    no one really knows
    in heaven or in hell
    where their memories dwell
    in the ghost of a name
    down below the james

    © 1982 Brian Rose


    Marco Giunco
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