My skinny days, my heavy nights -
A blue blue room, up three flights -
She waves and turns from the window to her boy.
The band is through, the wedding gown
Is one more flag that's coming down.
The sun is rising like a bomb over Illinois.
My heavy nights, my skinny days -
The way she tends her secret place
While uncles gather in the parlor thick with smoke.
Cousin Lou is in the hay -
They say she knows how to play
The game of love, and her guitar with two strings broke.
Out on the beach beneath a towel
They fall asleep until the howl
Of wind and wave wake them up and they catch the last commuter train.
Her skinny days and her family
Have stripped her down for all to see
But her big mouth could drink them all like summer drinks the rain.
She put her ring in her underwear drawer
While the world tumbled from war to war.
There was a box full of gifts to be returned.
She grew her garden, mostly wild,
And walked for miles and raised her child.
She kept her cool, but after midnight she burned.
I told the tale. I walked the line
In Michigan, into the pines.
I made a camp, I built a fire, I loved myself.
And skinny days have gained some weight
And wasting time keeps me up late.
I'm sending you this book of pictures, for your shelf.