Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen

Monday, May 20, 2013


For this Sunday's prompt, mindlovemisery asks us to choose a song from the decade of our birth and then write a poem inspired by the song. I grew up listening to my parents' original Broadway recording of HAIR (1968) and always loved this song. As a child, I'm sure I didn't understand the meaning entirely, but it moved me nonetheless.

This is the 1979 version by Cheryl Barnes from the movie. I think it's even better than the original.

You brought home strays
Tended to their wounds
Helped them heal
and loved them all the more for biting you
You forgave your father
for hitting you
You forgave your mother
for not stopping him
You forgave your sister
for leaving
You forgave your friends
for being traitors
You took every hurt
and made it a medal
to pin on your heart
But you could never absolve me
from loving you.

submitted for mindlovemisery, Prompt 4, Music and
Poets United, Poetry Pantry 150 and
Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Open Link Monday


Brian Miller said...

ha. great last line...so much heart and compassion...even in a rough life...ugh...hard to forgive your way through a lot of that...but that only accentuates that last line...

Anonymous said...

That song is beautiful my god the emotion in that woman's voice could break my heart. Exquisite writing they say its through pain that we develop compassion and empathy, I think its true. Amazing inner strength and resiliency I still have some forgiving to do myself. Love that last line

Susan said...

Wow to the poem alone. And a double wow for the song you chose to include with it. Together, they take me back and also deeper into the present. I want to tell your character to trust those that love her, to know how much she is worth, to forgive is OK but to be open to more abuse is not.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

A song of love and recognition of growth. I echo what Susan says. Hope that girl knows her worth. Great write.

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent post, both poem and song. Powerful.

Kay L. Davies said...

Wonderful poem, and it speaks to something I have refused to face. It hurts, but I thank you for it.
I remember the year you were born, Ms Mouse, and I remember Hair the musical, and the movie. Long ago and far away, but as close as today, some days.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Some people deserve the unconditional love of one who sees them for who they are and accepts them with all their bruises. I found your poem very moving, and I beautiful song as inspiration.

Laura said...

this is fantastic, that last line wraps around the heart, a most tender and fierce hug.

Anonymous said...

Lola, you just gave me a song for our praise band; we do a lot of interesting material in worship.

This person in your poem seems almost a martyr, or else a saint! Some of those things are very hard to forgive. "How can people be so cold..." Easy.

The last line stopped me in my tracks. Thanks for this, Amy

Crayotic Ramblings said...

This is one of my all time favorite songs ever. I have the Broadway soundtrack on vinyl and between this and Flesh Failures it's a wonder it even plays anymore.

You do it proud. This is tremendous.

Jinksy said...

Ah, forgiveness - SO important.:)

Anonymous said...

Excellent. This tipped the scale to smiling. Thx

TCPC said...

Ah! the last line was a toast!!

Dave King said...

Superb choice and a truly superb poem. Just "Wow!"

Anonymous said...

The next prompt is up if you're game I would love to see you again =)