Fattening Frogs For Snakes

Heart Like Railroad Steel

"Baby got a heart
like a piece of railroad steel
& if I leave here this mornin’
never say, ‘Daddy, how do you feel?’”
—Charley Patton

So Hayes McMullen says of Charley Patton:
”If those women made him mad
he’d just fight, &,
you know,
knock ’em out with that old guitar.

’I knew one of his wives,
named Lizzie,
& she said one day he just
walked on off with his guitar
& never came back.

She hadn’t done nothin’ to him.
He hadn’t done nothin’ to her.
Well, after that,
she would talk a lot
about how mean he was.

But she kept his picture
right there on her mantel.
She kept it until the day
she died.”

— Detroit
near Champaign, IL
March 11, 1982