Bottle Neck Blues

I am sweepin’ the pieced together, hand me down rug
with my broken down broom,
in a deep study about the history and implication
of the broom.

The broom I have now is plain green
and right down at the bottom of the wire,
the heavy steel one that holds the bristles together,
is a circle of matching velvet, worn shiny and slick.

Somehow I have always missed this detail,
until I got in such a deep study
about the implications of the broom.

The same kind blues men used to nail up
on the back porch, or the front wall
of some shotgun house in Mississippi,
weigh down with a couple of rocks
or bricks, if they had them, and pull tight,
end of the day sing some low down, moanful tune,
one hand plunkin’ the one strand while the other
slides an RC bottle up and down the wire.

Mamas who tied the broom back together with
a shoe string and went about their business,
while the boys watched the men and learned,
waitin’ for their chance
to sneak into some blues room in town.

I take comfort from this piece of history
about the broom, little boys and
men buildin’ the bottle neck blues
one strand at a time, turnin’ that
whole three room shotgun house
into the body of a guitar.

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