Doc Mills

From the North

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Is my courage an illusion?

"Confession #6" was recorded live, with an intention to overdub a harmonica in the instrumental breaks, which is how I play it live. But, when we went back to do that, I discovered that I had recorded it in the wrong key, and I didn't happen to have a G# harp (nor does anyone, probably). But I liked the take. So we hooked a trem pedal up to an old Telecaster and let Chris Koch loose with a slide.

Confession #6

I've been learning a language
I've been practicing the letters
Holding onto things that used to fall
From the sea wall, they would tumble into nothing
In the morning the wreckage would bear witness

I've been sleeping on trains
I've been drinking next to strangers
Having conversations in my mind
I've been out of line, I've forgotten all my training
All the things my mother said in the eighties

But I have questions
Is my courage an illusion?
An echo of my grandfather's charge
When he left his blood
In the soil for the Union
When he lost so much more in that mud  

I've been driving West
I've been straining against the reins
It's harder when there's nothing left to hate
I've been sleeping late
Though I'm dreaming of nothing
I'll wake up when I have a reason

But I have questions
When I stare into the black
Whose eyes are those reflected by the fire
They're just beyond the trees
When they grow tired of looking back
I wonder if they're coming for me

I'm a map in the back seat
I'm a call to information
I'm the rusty pump handle in the yard
I'm a union card
I'm a horse that used to win
I would run again if I really missed it