Listening to the Blues

by Carol Flake

Now my Southern Soul can sing.
Blues thrum my roots
like boiled peanuts, cornbread, squirrel stew,
black men’s music spills into a white woman’s heart.

Bouncy, brash—
guitar strings strum
saxophone blares screeches
fingers dance
bass holds the beat
and now percussion.

Whining, wailing
plaintive cry,
echoed by all the instruments.
Sorry, sullen
twangy, resonant,
the blues speak.

Emotions boil
sadness, joy, regret.
Slide guitar laments
broken hearts, lies told, love cheated.
Now jumping and jiving,
now tragic and mournful.

Harmonica adds its wail to the mix—
just hear that lonesome whistle blow.
Twang goes the guitar!
A perfect supper of sound,
echoes in the deepest layers of being.
My soul is stirred by the blues.

Carol Flake, a retired college professor, has spent the past thirteen years developing her inner artist. A potter and a photographer, she is now trying to discover her poetic voice.

About Listening to the Blues—I wrote this poem as my response to inspiration from listening to classical music, jazz, and the blues.