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Iris DeMent

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Iris DeMent

Out Of the Fire

On a gravel back-road, down deep in the Fall
So long ago, how well I recall
My Grandpa's green truck with the rusted-out rims
and me on the seat, 'tween my Mamma and him
How we rattled along, 'till the old Ford, it stalled
Momma said 'Jump on out, pick you a big cotton ball'
An Autumn leaf scraped its way 'cross the road
And we were headed back home.

See the proud, thrusting, curve of the robin's red breast
out gathering worms to return to her nest,
the lavender haze at the first light of dawn,
a woman's clear voice lilting in song,
and all the fine words our poets have said,
the sparkling dew upon the spider's silk web!
Does one matter more? Does one matter less?
Who of us can say?

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The tents are rolled up, the Revival's left town
all that remains is the fine sawdust ground
still wet with the tears that fell from the eyes
of folks too far down to hang back in pride
And I am here, too, like I always was:
deep in the pain, strong in the love
still singing my prayer to Heaven above
heartfelt and true.
Once you were the dawn, the dusk, and the dawn
Without the dream of holding you tight
my days turned to black, I could hardly take breath
I stumbled my way thru a fate worse than death
But like the Phoenix that rose right out of the fire,
I came back too, from a bed of desire
and shook from my wings the ash from the pyre,
and headed back home.