Fats Domino 1928-2017

I was hitch-hiking to New Orleans
I was thinking about his song
Mississippi was so foreign
The road went on and on

I sauntered down the highway
Time was on my side
Everythin’ goin’ my way
I’d always get a ride

(In Iowa, no one saunters
not that I ever saw
No one pauses no one wanders
that’s all against the law)  

I’d sing the song and keep on walkin’
Raise my thumb, a car would come
Then there would be a bit of talkin’
Where y’all goin’? Where y’all from?

An old woman pulled up in a Lincoln
To the floor, Lordy we was soarin’
To her query I started singin’
“I’m hitch-hikin’ to New Orleans.”

She laughed out loud, slapped the dash
“Y’all are darned funny!”
And though I was sorta low on cash
That ride was easy money

She’d had a husband and oh she loved him
He’d passed on well-insured
She said faith can provide a comfort
but a Continental cured

I thought we were headed for disaster
She hit the brakes and screamed
Shook her fist yelled “Bastard!”
At what she thought obscene

Every road-kill was so treated
Murderers took her breath
This was fairly oft repeated
The South is full of death

She said she once saw Fats Domino
He got the joint a jumpin’
We tried to find him on the radio
But just preachers sayin nothin’

We parted ways in an hour or so
Went on our separate missions
I walked on singin’ slow
Footsteps to the rhythm

I thought of her the other day
When I heard the news
And thought about how we pray
In car seats and in pews

Someday there will come a day
We will walk no further
And the wind will bear our dust away
Our time here just a murmur

Oh for this life I am ever grateful
And the end is no disaster
But sometimes I feel hateful
Oh Time you are such a bastard!

But put on your shoes, walk with me
Let’s take the long way home
Enjoy the view, talk with me
Someday we’ll walk alone

There was a time I believed
I’d cross the River Jordan
But this road is just right for me
I’m walkin’ to New Orleans

I’m walkin’ to New Orleans  



Throughout November I am writing a poem a day in an effort to raise money for The Center for New Americans, an organization that is located in Western Massachusetts and does great work in acclimating our new citizens to their new homes.
Also, most of you know I am moving to Oregon at the end of the year. Before I leave I will be
doing two shows.  Both will be in Amherst at the NACUL Center at 7:00 on November 30 and December 7. Proceeds will benefit The Center for New Americans.
I will be joined by these fine musicians: Joe Ricker, Andrew Atkin, Dave Haughey, Billy Klock and Dan Thomas.

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