Would you play it for me? The man with the expensive Hair asked politely. He bought guitars But doesn't play them. Someone, somewhere Had carved out a Cutaway at the neck Ruining its value. "It's not worth much. Just a curio" He offered me the guitar. It was beautiful Thick necked Flat frets Deep body S Cutaway Open tuners Sounded Perfect Like tobacco And Brandy And the gravel On the driveway Like the Deepest blue On the darkest Night And the sound Of Ella Fitzgerald And Billie Holliday Telling me about Strange Fruit And society's Shame. It sounded The herald For little John Conqueroo And Old Father Time And Muddy Waters And deep red Thunderbird wine. It sounded like Woody, Lomax And Leadbelly. It sounded like A world Before Color telly. My fingers stumbled Over boxcar doors And Gaslight nights And Dylan's first Encore. They tripped and Tumbled Out of backdoors Running away From husbands, Gamblers and Whores. They sped away Lightly As we all know Time flies, They hesitated In the '60s. They paused For guitar straps Of twine. Sweetly Softly Freely given: A guitar that Saw some to hell And others to Heaven. And now it's all Dying Like good stories Do, Now it sounds Like it is sighing And a lighter Shade of blue. Now that it has Started Progressed And ended, The old guitar Still cries Though it has Been Lovingly Mended.