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A Ring of Chairs

by Brian Francis

Sitting in a circle strumming on a six-string
All of my friends making music there with me
Grandpa with his fiddle stomping and dancing
Playing halleluiah while his soul is flying free

Johnny has a banjo playing out the challenge
Six of us strummers reply in answering
Smiles paint the faces of the generations
Sharing this tradition of the music ring

Billie took his chair and sat it in the center
Standing there beside it, his guitar on his knee
He started to play an old church house standard
Everyone in the ring joining to accompany

Missy and her mama sang the words of praising
While working in the kitchen preparing all the food
Jim and Sammy Daniels joined in harmony singing
All about their constant and sorrowful mood

Woody Guthrie came in spirit to join with us
As we sang about the plenty of this land
And how Tom Joad just wanted some too
So, he could place it in a hungry child’s hand

All through the day remembering in song
The building of this republic, the journey shared
The troubles suffered all along the way
The joys and sorrows of how we’ve faired

Late in the evening before we broke and parted
We played some favorites of friends, passed away
We closed with Roy’s farewell song of happy trails
With embraces and kind words we finished our day


Posted on 03/10/2020
Copyright © 2023 Brian Francis

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 03/10/20 at 07:14 PM

Cool poem, Brian. Nothing like a sing a-long to lift the spirits. Brings back fond memories of my family's days camping up at a trailer park outside of Ottawa. The local troubadour and his wife would sit down with their guitars, and we'd all join in the singing (with a little liquid confidence lol) to a string of old favorites. Great memories! :)

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 03/15/20 at 08:14 PM

Refreshing to read something musical, communal. Now here's something we all could catch and become infected with, music for the soul.

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