Ready, Aim, Sing

My poem—Ready, Aim, Sing—is up at Cactifur. Here is the poem:

Ready, Aim, Sing

My sister, Angie, thought

she’d save the world.

She grew her black hair long

and fancied herself

the next Joan Baez.

Angie was sure song

would silence the guns.

Never shy, she belted out

a steady stream 

of Paxton, Prine and Collins.

It made dad smile to hear

“Farewell Angelina,”

though he couldn’t fathom the lyrics.

He tried to save the world once,

humping an M1 across France and Germany.

I used to make her crazy—

isn’t that what brothers are for,

with a refrain from Lehrer’s spoof—

Folk Song Army.

You must know it—ready, aim, sing.

At sweet 16, my sister played 

the pass-the-hat dives

on Bleeker Street

where drug 

and protest culture collided.

Sure, she would save the world,

but wasn’t it easier if you were high?

She hit the road at 17–

four wannabes in an old Nash Rambler

heading for the summer of love.

They never made it to Haight-Ashbury—

burned so much oil crossing Kansas

it looked like they had chosen the Pope.

Dad drove out to get them—

the car tomb-silent all the way home.

I have her old Gibson 12

and pluck out a Paxton now and again.

My sister, Angie, married money—

she lives in Dallas and voted for both Bushes

while her grandson, Dylan, vows to save the world.

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1 Response to Ready, Aim, Sing

  1. Martha Freeman says:

    I love this! And I really want to believe that every word is true.

    Like

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