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Poems by Eddie Draper


    We all knew ole "Ditch"
    who lived behind the levee
    He fished them catfish
    beyond blind
    a legend of the line---

    Rowboat oar
    he'd guide the pole
    where no man knew but he-
    On sandbar he'd be standin' tall
    Ole "Ditch," dem worms and me---

    Mister Eddie - pull yo' line
    you sho' nuff reeled your best
    As I waken from my dream
    Ole "Ditch"
    He's fishin' yet---


    I'm just a lonesome Delta field
    left fallow to the plow
    My owner can't afford my plight
    a hundred years am I---

    Chopper's chopping - turn my weeds
    Once cotton - once was beans-
    Magnolia State forsake me not
    I still seek profit in my dreams---

    Who can afford an acre's dirt?
    No future for this earth-
    Grown men cry - a loss unheard
    A lonesome Delta field to curse---


    Peckerwood-I heed you calling me-
    the cotton gin-
    Edna Ma your hallowed walls
    Memory never fainting me
    Big Daddy nor the fields---

    Oh faith be mine-
    Old recalls serve me well-
    On Burchfield's Place
    Across the dell
    Back forty and the mules-

    The well-the shop-the old homestead
    The blacks upon the porch-
    A friend of mine was Cooterville
    And Bessy - Doris too-
    And Buddy Coon
    Who walked the ditch
    A wiser drunk unseen-

    And Eddie-Charlie
    and Robert Ed
    Our muscles flexed to toil-
    Now turn our backs
    upon the soil-
    Peckerwood deadning live on
    Live on---

    Those tractor days
    Tho' over now
    At least amongst our youth-
    We carry on and hold the grasp
    Yet still we dream the past---


    The Clevelands
    and the Boyleians
    the Merigoldians
    and the Drewians---

    Galactic war - the fiercest clan
    the target's emblem's spar
    The Tallahatchies
    glide thru space
    unseen on Rulevena---

    And Linn and all
    the Malvina court
    stand judged
    at Rosedale port---

    And Waxhaw transports
    Captain Shaw
    toward Glendora
    past the Anguilla sky---

    Oh Perthshire
    what do you desire
    on Beulah's
    landing break?

    A truce at Lillo's
    cross the table
    manna at sunburst
    If the Lelandites agree---


    Can't you hear the backyards
    'cross the neighborhood-
    Dogs in bark - fences bound
    cats prowl among the woods---

    Midnight anguish waiting still
    Silence breaks its vow-
    Stairway to a backyard grill
    The scent still guides me now---

    New mown grass on summer's eve
    Helps me remember youth-
    a squeaky seat on swaying swing
    I sip quietly on a backyard view---


    My angel must have
    just one wing
    She does not visit oft'-
    But when she soars
    around my realms
    my spirits break on loft---

    My angel must have
    just one wing
    my luck no constant streak---
    But what beauty - 'neath that wing
    Protector's guiding meek---

    My angel must have
    just one wing
    Oh fly my way and light-
    And curl yon web
    and drape my soul
    I need your wing tonight---

Eddie Draper is a native of the Mississippi Delta and is a regular contributor to USADS.
He now lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee, where he is a songwriter and musician.

Write Eddie at Gravel Road Music.


Poems and stories by Eddie E. Draper ~
Miss Spongy
The Shadow Of Your Breath
My First Graders First Picture
Upon One Delta Night
Out On A Limb
Katies Kitchen Floor
Old Ditch
Lonesome Delta Field
Peckerwood Deadning
Delta Force
My Angel Must Have Just One Wing
Peace On The Road
Trees Are Made Of Doors
Oh Distant Star
Upon The Candled Night
The Worldly Light
Its Only Life
Mississippi River ~ Queen Of My Life
Thats All Thats Left To Do
Horizons Of My Heart
Pianos Have Their Form Of Soul

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