Aretha Franklin

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Your father could hold a congregation

in the palms of his hands raised to heaven;

and when he spoke of Daniel

at prayer in the lion’s den his words

were a song. His wayward daughter,

with your gift, like his God-given,

were you a sinner or sinned against

the first time you weakened?  


It takes you years to find an answer

and years to find a voice

beyond polished album tracks,

the smooth-talking lovers.

Laying down your own chords

at Muscle Shoals in Alabama,

you sang like a natural woman –

my listlessness dissolving in my rapt Amen!


◄ Stereogram

For Robert Johnson ►


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