‘Willow’ by Scab-Tron



Old man outside my windowsill
Sitting at the trunk of a willow tree
Strumming a guitar like it had one string
Plucking away at it pensively, patiently
He waits for its vibration to settle quietly
And so, as it stirs, he peers down its neck
And he’s clutching it, choking it, just hoping it ends
He tightens his grip to get it in tune
And hopes that time won’t try to outlast him
One note here, another one there
Because Man can’t exist just here, now can It?

They walk in the Savannah
With barren feet and their heels are rough
They clutch at mushrooms and shrubs and dingoes
There’s bears in the North, but they can’t quite reach ’em yet

Lord help us now, in this Dark of Night.
The ground struck cold, struck down, to stone
Are We soon to be the same
They sway and sing, hold hands for warmth

Tribes and clans hear moans ‘cross mountains
These battlefields will turn flat one day
But at least they have his comfort in strums

His bottleneck down, a chest full of choirs from inside his throat

Strange man, right there by the willow tree
At the bark, his skin stays dark in the shade
A sweltering heat of a sun bore down
Yet he lays relieved, can’t quite say the same

Give in, he says, or something in mumbles
About Jesus or Christ or something Almighty
Lord spare us, our Savior, this Light of Day
Hear him laugh to himself at our candid indecision
The modern ice that will be here someday soon
In blocks and boxes and ventilation
If only we too could pass through time
As he strums on throughout the Ages

To sense the Future in what could be Now
The prospect of a potential that simply isn’t there

Waiting, for the perpetual
Existing, for the uncertain
It will be here soon, just a bit more time

If only to gnaw at the clocks like mad
With our hands at the wake of Its ghost

I’ve never loved something yet, but I know that I will someday

And so I caress what is bound to become
In hopes that the inclined arrives in my arms
For if what is prone to be could exist at any moment
Why waste for such a forgettable sense of the Present?

He only picks at his strings to get them right
Because he hates imprecision, and he knows he’ll get better
And he senses that practice (if maybe one day)
Will settle him there in the perfect coordinates
To fulfill that Future in which he plays those things

The way he wants to play them
How he was always taught to play them
At the Beginning of it All

Just keep playing, these chords of time
At the end of the trunk of a willow tree
Until you play the right notes, in all the right ways
And your eyes will dart up to see the World brand new
Predisposed to a recollection of His needs and wants
Because they envelop his life, by and by
And if hymns in the Dark can’t strum him wrong
Then ballads in the Light can only wring him dry

So now goes that Star
‘Cross Future’s bright night
That blinks in moans by the grace of firelight
We hear that strum as it zooms on by
Away and away, towards the weight of Time’s touch
Towards the Lord Almighty, or anything out there
With our hands held up, held free to that Sky
In a waltz so finite, in a wait so damned
Touching here what once was Dreams,
What once had always been there
Now always here, forever here,
At the trunk of a willow tree.

scab-tron (@loafpile) likes to post meaningless narrative-inspired tweets on Twitter about Chuck E. Cheese’s and alternate dimensions. They live in a cornfield, and also published a book about sleep and gummy bears.