was paved with gravestones,
mile markers and cats-head pillars.
The wheels hissed over them,
singing a cowboy Kaddish, mile by mile.
over the bones of Saint Hank Williams,
Jimmie Rodgers and Hawkshaw Hawkins.
and a thousand other Nudie-suited martyrs
who fell, along the trail.
and past the tragic, haunted forest where she fell
where the robbers picked the pockets of the dying and the dead.
Some backwoods bride was wed in her death chiffon,
on a rainy day in 1963.
I dreamed verdant Tennessee
was splendid – It’s pastures rolled
in liver red rills and running water –
the secrets of her valleys and lilac hills,
misty in the distance
echoed the merry voices
of the mystery-seeking Pilgrims
Who’d paid good money for epiphany
and to reclaim their ancient, carpetbagged kin.
some spoke in hush and awe of Graceland healings
where hair lipped or crippled cousins were compelled to sing and dance.
Others, sceptical and true to their religion
said that Elvis merely channelled Patsy Cline.
I dreamed the house where Patsy Cline lived
was modest, neat and bland.
A quaint suburban bungalow in
All her descendants and relatives were there
to answer questions and sign
autographs. The gifts shop was tasteful,
inexpensive and unobtrusive.
Patsy’s widower, Joe, seemed a genuine guy
who wanted no vestigial fame for himself.
He shook hands all day long and thanked us for coming
He was, like us, still in love with Patsy Cline
And there was no apocalyptic fervor
There were no wheels of fire
or water to wine ecstatics.
There was just a perfect day
When we were of one understanding
at the house where Patsy Cline lived.