From the recording Wire and Wood

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Roadside Shrine
© 2008 Joe Black – Lanitunes Music
All Rights Reserved


Plastic flowers faded by the sun
On display at the side of the road
Bearing witness to mile marker 351
Northern New Mexico
The kind of bouquet that a bride might carry
A laminated picture of the Virgin Mary
Guadalupe come and show me a sign
I kneel down in the prairie grass
The tire marks and the broken glass
Here by this road-side shrine

Through my windshield I caught the sight
In the midst of the afternoon glare
The noonday sun like a neon light
Drew me in to see what was there
Like stumbling on a photograph
Or sharing in a secret laugh
I’m peeking through another family’s blinds
The pain and loss that’s captured here
The longing, the love the fear
You can feel it at this roadside shrine

What were the last words you said?
Who did you leave behind?
Who sleeps alone in your bed?
Waiting for a song or a sign
Did you mean to call me here?
Here by the side of the road
The flies they buzz in my ear
Sharing secrets never been told

Like a pilgrim rising I slowly retreat
Never turning my eyes from that place
The rhythm of the road never misses a beat
As I feel the tears stream down my face
A chance encounter with a total stranger
A new awareness of the constant danger
We take in our hands all the time
As though bequeathed with a sacred task
Epitaph and aftermath
Of this road side shrine