One Last Thing (A Song From the North Country)

Poem Inspired by a Song: “One Last Thing”

It’s November, and I’m in the mood for something depressing!

Today’s poem comes to you from 2016, by way of the 100 Themes Challenge I have yet to finish. The prompt for this one was —

BREATHE

— which, as it turns out, has little to do with the final result … but hey, a prompt is a starting point, right?

Anyway, this poem also comes to you by way of Bob Dylan’s “Girl From the North Country,” which I was learning on the guitar at the time:

Well, if you’re travelin’ in the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine

Well, if you go when the snowflakes storm
When the rivers freeze and summer ends
Please see if she’s wearing a coat so warm
To keep her from the howlin’ winds

Please see for me if her hair hangs long,
If it rolls and flows all down her breast.
Please see for me if her hair hangs long,
That’s the way I remember her best.

I’m a-wonderin’ if she remembers me at all
Many times I’ve often prayed
In the darkness of my night
In the brightness of my day

So if you’re travelin’ in the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine

I’ve always been fascinated by the lyrics of “Girl From the North Country” and similar folk songs, and in particular I always wondered about the girl’s perspective.

Did she also have regrets? Did she wait for something, expect something that never came? Did she have trouble letting go? Was she haunted by what could have been?

I still haven’t explored this theme enough, but in any case … here’s what my pen came up with.


One Last Thing (A Song From the North Country)

I no longer ask you to love me—
only turn your bright face to the northwind
I’ve sent from my pocket (kept there
so long, oh so long!)
and let it blush your cheek once more,
for me.

Winds pass, you know;
let this come, let this go.

I no longer ask you to hold the door
or light candles at night (on the sill,
oh too long)—
only raise your bright hands to the stars
I’ve let fall, the last pennies in my pocket
for you.

Stars burn out, you know;
let this come, let this go.


If you could write a poem about any song right now, which would you choose?

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