Ruminant

by Brad Proudlove

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1.
I’ve been making my mark In this dirt, dawn to dark It gets cold and gets stark Out here Seen you’d come back to town Seen you hangin' around Seen your old wedding gown In the garage sale Well Hell Maybe this is our chance To have you, take my hand, Well I’d drink the Rio Grande When you went away I made a mistake And I wish I could take It back All the nights I have prayed Laid alone and awake Like an old rattlesnake Move Slow And know, That I’ll always be there And if you, can’t see land Well I’d drink the Rio Grande All the things I could say All these words can’t convey My whole voice slips away With you So please hear my plea Give your trust back to me And I promise I’ll be True And fair Let me prove that I can If you let me, start again Well I’d drink the Rio Grande
2.
Ruminate 04:31
Dug in, and the sun’s gettin thin Threw a rope ‘round my bed You heard, though I ain’t said a word All those things in my head But I guess, it’s all open out here Can’t make a silk purse, out of a sow’s ear And the fences we build ‘round our hearts Always seem to need mending, in the very same spots Shed blood, in the thick prairie mud Let it dry in the sun West wind, tells the dirt where I been This old heart weighs a ton I can see, cupid’s bow on your lips In my mind I can feel my arms wrapped round yer hips Nothing ventured, it’s all in my head Nothing gained ‘cept the pain from this thing in my chest Brome grass, trampled in desire paths Ruminate on your words At long last, we can rip off our masks See who we really were And I feel, all those acres burn off And the scars on my hands seem like such a small cost To be here, where the land meets the sky As close on earth you can get to the great bye and bye So I guess I’ll just pry off these boots Nothing outside to call for me if I’m here with you In the east when the sun comes again I’ll roll myself over and stay for a spell
3.
A stranger on the trail, a hundred miles from anywhere Wind making whitecaps on the sloughs, remindin' me of you A force of nature to behold, just like the stories mama told Me to be careful letting in, the harbingers of sin I should have Listened to her words, but all I ever heard was Don't you end up like yr pa, be quicker on the draw than those who Mean to do you wrong, out here we’ll grow up strong and there is Something to be said for being quick or being dead Tell the man strike up the band, I’ll take you by the hand and swing you All around this room, a flower in full bloom. You push the Pedal to the floor, I listen for the roar of this old Earth beneath my tires, but still my heart aspires to be A strong and better man, I don’t know if I can, bring back that Glimmer in yr smile. It’s been a long long while since I have Looked you in the eye, out here beneath the sky, where Daddy Caught himself some lead, best to be quick instead of dead So now I lay me down here on that same and sacred ground Where we both watched him breath his last, blood drippin' from the grass and soaking Deep into the soil, through years of till and toil there’s something Growing in your heart, a chance for us to start Our life together in this place, we’ll name our daughter Grace and pray She’ll never have to fear, life on this frontier, here where the Prairie meets the sky, if I could choose a place to die I’d pick The hills and riverbeds, just like my dear old daddy did
4.
Done some things I can’t explain Told some lies I can’t escape Now here I lay Flip a coin to decide my fate Funeral pyres and fresh dug graves Where I lay Heads for the church, tails for the devil Pray till it hurts, can’t get much better Maybe time will save my soul, I dunno But I ain’t got much left no more, no one to hold me tight before I go Nobody cryin’ over me I don’t deserve no sympathy Hell I ain’t free, I’ll never be Waste away through my last days Close my eyes, hope not to wake Where I lay Done some things I can’t explain Told some lies I can’t escape Now here I lay
5.
I had a peculiar dream last night I saw you again Your hair was the same But that’s where the similarities end I hope your mother’s doing well I hope your step father’s in jail & everything else While I was listening to John Prine Far from me You were singin' Strawberry Wine Seventeen I know that you were unwell And you thought no one else could tell & everything else Your foolish smile reappeared And I prayed When my dreamin' mind came clear That smile wouldn’t fade I know you had to say farewell Didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell & everything else

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released September 15, 2020

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Brad Proudlove Rosefield, Saskatchewan

Born and raised in the heartland.

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