Elroy Berdahl


Now, Elroy, you’ve been scaring me into believing
Got your ash gray elbows and your stark white eyebrows set to the wind
Look at me when you say those words
“I can’t.”
Tell me about the war, you know who lost, you know I don’t want to fight
So set sail, Jesus did, so set sail, make do with chicken shit and heaven sent
That’s the life

Now, Elroy, you’ve seen your woman make peace
She blamed the Lord for seasons of shame and touched your wet cheeks
Look at me when I say these words
“I can’t.”
All of heaven is a ribbon she ties her hair with and God only a shadow of his former self
So sleep sound, Judas did, so sleep sound, let the ancients argue over prophecy
That’s not life

Now, Elroy, you’ve been dying under the sun
A pile of crumpled leaves and dried grass set aflame with salvation wind
Look at me when you have no words
“I can’t.”
Your folk legend comes closest to any truth I’ve ever known, braver than my bravest lie
So stand still, Elroy Berdahl, now stand still, if the guns must fire, don’t give up hope
It’s only life

Pier Statue 2

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