Old Man Singing

i have been absent here for a few days. The Southwest corner Jewell’s finally got caught. In spite of all the boosters and relatively safe practices, we came down with COVID. Maureen is back in battery after her ten-day hiatus. My tenth day is tomorrow. It has not been a lot of fun but undoubtedly would have been a lot, lot worse without the inoculations

Last night after Maureen had gone to bed, the below, out of nowhere, came into my head. i checked the song lyrics this morning, and here it is:

did you hear the old man singing
“bringing in the sheaves”
when he realized the river ford
was not as shallow as he perceived?

did you hear the old man singing
“swing low sweet chariot
coming for to carry me home”
as the current carried him
away to another home’s distant shore?

did you hear the gushing waters
of the ford that belied his fate
swishing through the channel
as if no one had waded through
its deceptive waterway gate?

well, i heard the old man singing:

…Though the loss sustained our spirit often grieves,
When our weeping’s over, He will bid us welcome,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
My spirit grieved but knew he’d bid me welcome.

I heard him change his tune as he was swept away:

I looked over Jordan and what do I see
A band of angels coming after me
Coming for to carry me home

…Swing low, sweet chariot
Coming for to carry me home.

I sang with him, hoping he could hear:

If you get there before I do,
Coming for to carry me home
Tell all my friends I’m coming too
Coming for to carry me home
Swing low, sweet chariot.

that was long ago;
i now sit in my rocking chair
with the fire in the hearth a’blazing
remembering the treacherous river
where the ford was not a ford
to mumble under my breath,
i will be rejoicing bringing in the sheaves;
tell all my friends, i’m coming too;
swing low sweet chariot.


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