(May 17,1970 / Atlanta, Georgia, United States)

The Empty Chair

It's a lovely day,
Come have a seat.
You can see I have a chair to spare.
We'll watch the birds
Go on about their business,
And the squirrels gather
Their winter's due.

I have this chair right here,
It was full, once.
Every day we watched
Through our window to the world,
And every night we wished
On an evening star.
That seat's empty now.

My children are now
Growing old, and have
Borne grandchildren,
And theirs are bearing new fruit.
We saw it all
From these chairs right here,
Ain't no one there now.

Many angels have I met,
On my travels,
And in my life.
Do I believe in them?
Why sure I do.
One sat right there
Where you're sitting.

Half a century whiled away,
In young loves, old loves,
And happy dreams.
I left that angel
To go to war,
She was there when I returned,
And I never left again.

That's her book right there,
Marked with a rusted daisy
On chapter twenty-three.
I wear her earrings,
Her token to an old Indian,
And everyday I hope today
I can return them.

She left one day,
And I haven't seen her since,
God knows where she's been.
I've been waiting for
A year now
To see that slender tanned
Sunshine on my doorstep.

But my heart fears
She is sleeping.
Drowsy in a place I
Cannot wake her.
Dreaming blissful dreams
Of sunny days, cornfields,
And sparrows on the window.

So take a while
And talk to me.
Stop and smell the lilacs,
For our turn shall come,
To go to sleep, to dream,
And exhale the mirage of life.
Yet, my heart's empty now.

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