Tonight, I have the delight of opening for one of my favorite singer-songwriters, Dar Williams, in her performance at the Lawrence Arts Center. To get ready, I wrote a bunch of new poems, all inspired by Dar’s lyrics from songs on her Mortal City album since her current tour is a 20th anniversary celebration of that groundbreaking album (“Iowa,” “The Christians and the Pagans” and lots of other Dar classics are on it). While I’ve spent the last month writing these poems, the one I’m sharing here — dedicated to my sister-friends — came in a rush while taking a break from revising other poems). If you’re in Lawrence, come on down tonight to the arts center at 8 p.m. and join us! This poem steals lyrics (italicized) from two songs — “As Cool as I Am” and “Iowa.”
I Will Not Be Afraid of Women
Because I learned early and often that when it comes
to all those falls from great and gruesome heights,
there is no one like a sister, and it’s worth driving all night,
ten miles above the limit, and with no seatbelt,
to sit at her table and drink her tea while she agrees
that we’re here to dance out of the lines even if it means
we singe our hair in ways we can’t remember the next morning.
I will not be afraid to go to her, and to her, and her, and her
my whole life: the ones who hold my stories
like Christmas ornaments, careful not to drop the glass ones
or make fun of the ones made by my children’s baby hands so long ago.
I will hold her 3 a.m. phone call, when she says,
“it’s all broken or it’s all better,” and when I call,
she’ll remind me why we’re lucky in this life,
sistering me away from hoarding the horizon, and toward
the new song we’ll write, then sing over and over until we’re sure
it always existed, just like this friendship, and this one, and this one—
each made of of cedar and wind in the long walk at dusk,
lukewarm coffee we drink anyway because it makes us laugh,
or a long nap on her couch in the middle of a December day
when I didn’t know where else to go, so I went to her
with my tattered heart and shining breath, to say, “please,
gather me up,” and she did. I will never be afraid of the mirror
she is or holds up, and the real life beyond that mirror
where we get in her car and drive for the love of motion.
2 thoughts on “"I Will Not Be Afraid of Women" and Other Dar Williams Inspired Poetry: Everyday Magic, Day 886”
Congrats to you! I’m a big fan of Dar’s music & lyrics!
Love your poem, Caryn!
Wish I could be there for this special evening!
*#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream*
On Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 4:00 PM, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg wrote:
> Individual Poet posted: “Tonight, I have the delight of opening for one of > my favorite singer-songwriters, Dar Williams, in her performance at the > Lawrence Arts Center. To get ready, I wrote a bunch of new poems, all > inspired by Dar’s lyrics from songs on her Mortal City album si” >
Very nice Caryn Have a wonderful musical poetry event with all friend who attend. Please keep me on your mail list.