Aretha Franklin R.I.P.

David Cooke: Poem

ARETHA FRANKLIN

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!

This poem is taken from After Hours by David Cooke. (Cultured Llama, 2017).

*****

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