Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Ballad of Steven Allen




Oh the river has me in its grip, its channel is too deep
I canna' stand and canna' swim, and I canna' go to sleep
Oh the waters fill my achin' lungs 'till I'm shakin' like a leaf
I'm drowning here, I'll fight no more the river of my grief

His head was ne'er a bright balloon, but water filled, it's true
he'd been wrapped in his umbilical, unborn and turning blue
and we prayed for his deliverance, and we prayed that he might die
God save him from a life of pain, a shameless battle cry

But he didn't pass that summer's eve, he lived into his teens
my parents loved him as they should, my take was more obscene
when I'd hold him I could see his soul, the person trapped within
I knew that he was powerless, a thinking mannequin

The doctors said he had no thoughts, his smile was pure response
and his giggle just a nervous twitch; he'd needs, but never wants
yet I'd stroke his face and pierce his eyes, and feel his little mind
well I thought that I could drop it, leave his sentience far behind

But a weaker man has ne'er been born, I crumbled to the task
it would haunt me that my brother dear, had questions he might ask
so rather than ignore it, I ignored the boy instead
and I found some way to justify the wrongness in my head

Well I had a little brother, not so anyone might know
I was absent as he made his way, too busy eating crow
And I saw the error of my ways, and yet I stood aside
Said I'd deal with him tomorrow, and tomorrow still, I cried

Over time it got more comfortable, as if he wasn't there
though he looked a little like me with his stark white, silken hair
yet my heart would sink whenever we would catch each others eye
he was strong and I was nothing, just a useless passerby

Well he held on for my mother, but as she passed, so did he
it was past his time by ages, all that knew him could agree
and I know that he's an angel, if the angels do exist
and I know I'll not forget him, and I know that he's been missed

It's been nearly twenty years since then, and still I can't forgive
I gave up a little brother that my laziness could live
it's the sin that never leaves me and the story I can't tell
that if nothing else, for this alone, I've paved my road to hell

Oh the river has me in its grip, its channel is too deep
I canna' stand and canna' swim, and I canna' go to sleep
Oh the waters fill my achin' lungs 'till I'm shakin' like a leaf
I'm drowning here, I'll fight no more the river of my grief

2 comments:

  1. This is very special. Is this one you recorded? It would go well set to country music.

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  2. I have read this many times and only now felt able to comment, although I suppose there isn't much to say, other than to let you know that this has touched me very deeply. There's nothing I can say to help, and that isn't what you are looking for. But I do feel your sorrow here. It's tangible. I wish I could say something to ease your pain, but perhaps it is enough to say thank you for directing me here and sharing this. I am very very deeply moved, and I will be thinking of this for a very long while after this. *hugs you*

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