Lula Wiles - Wide River

from by GennaRose Nethercott

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lyrics

Wide River
My baby said, “Meet me at the riverside—
tonight I’m running off with you,”
so I left my mama’s house behind
with a train ticket tucked in the back of my shoe.

I waited by the riverside.
I waited ‘til the sun dipped low.
I waited ‘til the moon arrived
but my darling never showed.

CHORUS:
The river’s deeper than a wound
& wider than a stain
where many a woman has lain her life
to never rise again.

My heart’s become a cannonball.
My knees have turned to stone.
How easy it would be to fall
& sink beneath the foam.

I balanced on the water’s edge;
the current called me hungrily
but I just turned around & fled
back home, beneath the apple trees.

CHORUS
BRIDGE:
Oh my man, oh my sweetheart
I won’t give you the satisfaction
of another drowned woman.

Next night I tracked my baby down
& set out in pursuit
I left my mama’s house behind
with a switchblade tucked in the back of my boot.

I found him dressed all up in white.
I drove my switchblade through his heart
which left a mark alive & bright
ablaze against the dark.

CHORUS

The river’s deeper than a wound
& wider than a stain
where I lay down my sweetheart’s life—
he’ll never rise again.

My heart’s become a nightingale
My knees have sprouted wings
& if ever any man tries to fool me again
I’ll make damn sure he sinks.

credits

from Modern Ballads, released January 29, 2018

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GennaRose Nethercott Somerville, Massachusetts

GennaRose Nethercott is the author of THE LUMBERJACK'S DOVE (Ecco/HarperCollins, forthcoming 2018), selected by Louise Glück as a winner of the National Poetry Series. Her other recent projects include A GHOST OF WATER (an ekphrastic collaboration with printmaker Susan Osgood) and the narrative song collection MODERN BALLADS. ... more

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