“Blues for Mississippi John Hurt” / a poem by Tom Evans

John Hurt walked down a dusty track

with a knapsack on his back;

Taking his time, whistling and singing,

he warn’t in no hurry.

He would pause, set down a spell,

to have a smoke and ruminate.

 

John took hisself some time off,

he was gone for a month or so.

It was good to be out in the open air, he felt,

kicking up the dust, listening to the insects humming.

He welcomed the breeze, he doffed his hat

to the liquid gold sun, to the railroad men,

in awe under the iron-blue sky.

 

He mopped his brow, rejoiced and continued on.

 

He thought about the boys back home, of the women,

yet nothing beat being out here alone:

‘A man’s got to roam, to roam,’

Got to walk his troubles away,

Got to keep walking down that lonesome road,

Till it takes him far away.’

©Tom Evans, 2016

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