April 7, 2016, Prescott-
The world saw the last of Merle Haggard, the man, yesterday.
He turned seventy-nine, then he turned and said “Goodbye, all.”
His words to us youth, back in Sixty-Nine and Seventy,
were to never forget the mountain dwellers, the cowboys,
the rednecks and the Blue Collar people, with their lunch pails.
He stood for the veterans, the grunts, the jarheads,
the squids, the flyboys and the weekend warriors.
“Don’t be runnin’ down our country, boys and girls”,
he said, while recounting the blues of the working man.
Then, there was the self-same man calling for an end to war.
There was the singer who stopped to listen, even to those
with a contrary opinion.
The price of that listening was,
you got to see the cowboy, the redneck, the roughneck
as a human being, a child of God, just like you.
He could have named his son Amos Moses,
or Elijah, or Jefferson Davis, or Thomas Jefferson.
He would never have named the boy, “Sue’.
Merle kept on with a Libertarian mind,
Living, and letting live, until he opted for eternity.