when darkness falls outside
    and inside at the end
    of a pretty good day
    I have turned on the music
    I know – songs that have
    lighted many nights
    with the slide of fingers
    along steel strings
    fingers picking a pattern
    of sorrow and sadness
    as comforting as the wind

    and as old as my childhood
    afternoons spent sitting
    in the grass trying to make
    my fingers move like his
    until I put down my
    guitar and sang harmony
    while he sang melody
    and I knew he was telling
    the truth, just as he
    is doing again tonight
    ain’t it good to know

    I bought that record
    in ninth grade almost
    forty years ago – in days
    when I was still learning
    how to play guitar, to be
    a friend, how to be me;
    one harder than the others
    four decades have drawn
    new lines and old ones
    I still can’t play like him
    but I can sing the harmony



    1. Beautiful poem. You are such a talented writer. I remember when I got this album as well. It’s always been one of my favorites. I learned the song on the piano, but could sing harmony (or melody for that matter) at gunpoint.

    2. I think I was in 7th grade when I bought that album…This song always reminds me of cleaning tack in a barn…radio playing…You’ve got a friend. My son, Taylor, named after James will someday take up the guitar ( I hope) to carry on my families love for music and playing around the dinner table….

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