Wednesday, January 18, 2017

before we five there was we three

and us dead-end-kids version
of the folk revival
circa 1963 pittsburgh
five hundred miles
heard by way of peter paul & mary
my fifteen dollar guitar
from an east ohio street pawn shop
dropping off my greasy
adolescent hood trench coat
for a beatup navy peacoat
and some finger picks

we practiced in the basement
of the second-fifth presbyterian church
on brighton road and made a debut
in the chapel under the
watchful eyes of deacon moe
(of moe's little place barroom)
and the young preacher rev bob
walking the neighborhood
in coveralls & broken down houses
dark steel streetcar tracks
& dusty alleyways
looking for souls and songs
for we three to mix it up with

we eventually got to if i had a hammer
and what a hammer it was
never realizing until
the weight of the world
came crashing up columbia place
black and white was
all blues to us
the girls were into winking
making our voices quiver
in the heat
of the stark concrete city steps
or just another way
of reaching for the sky

--- e b bortz

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