Saturday, April 25, 2009


it was after the mine fell in
jack set out a lookin for work
and willin to turn his hand
to just about anythin

when he come to that town
they'd boarded up the storefronts
and the bridge looked set to
fall in the river, on account of the rust

folks just standin in front of a gas station
and jack come up the road, lookin worse for it
asks where a feller c'n work for summat to eat
they all look down, like a bunch a hanged men
on invisible rope still finally one of em mumbles
aboutthe johnsin's flour mill

so up goes jack,and asks for work
at the milland the miller and his wife
give him a place to bed downin the mill,
and show him howto tend the wheel and mind the stone

and they tell how noone has lasted more than a day
and they brought the last one out on a board,
with his mouth all white frothand no spots in his eyes

so jack sets to grindin and weighs fair
and its comin on night
when an old man come off the hillcomes up,
with a lousy two buck grind,
gonna carry it backin a poke on a beat old mule

and the old man say he's sorry to come so late
but he needs to grind his crop
whihc aint nothin but a double barrow load anyways

so jacks sets the wheel a spinnin
and grinds up his wormy wheata
nd thanks him kindly

amnd the old man say
you are the first to do me right
and give jack a silver buckknife

that night, jack cooks up a soupbone and beans,
and the moon comes in through the hole in the roof

and in come a dead man with red hair and a broke neck
and then another just like him
and another
till the mill is plumb full
of wanderin boys that comelookin for work in hard times

jack says he saw john t albot there
,from up mcgoffey waybut that he dint say nothin

but jack sayscome share the fire boys
and the dead uns come round\
with eyes like dinnerplates
reflectin the moon and the fire
and teeth like broke-up mill gears

and they keep draggin their windin sheets
into the fireand burnin up,

and jack finally says
get out this mill, you damnfools
and they shuffle outliek a shift change at the mill
and that was the end of the first night

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