Living with Ballads: Sidna Allen

He mounted to the bar
with a pistol in his hand
and he sent Judge Massie
to the Promised Land:

the only mountain ballad
my mother ever sang
the years that she was raising me
on Pop Rocks and Tang,

and Grandmother thought secular
music miles beneath
her notice, so my mind is not
one Stith Thompson motif

after another, not a green
wood thick with noble felons,
no Gypsy Davies to seduce,
no Barbara Allens,

just local Sidna, late
in the murder song tradition,
coming at you straight
out of my mother’s kitchen.

i liked this poem mainly because of the rhyme. it’s kind of untraditional in that, as far as i can tell, only 2 out of the 4 lines of each stanza (with the exception of the last) rhyme with eachother. also, the rhyme scheme of the poem matched that of the italicized song lyrics that opened the poem, giving it the feel of a song which is very appropriate considering the subject matter and construction of the poem.

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