Ode to Billy Bob By Katherine Shields

Written for the clarinet player in our trio, the Seventh Roadrunner Ensemble. A Midwesterner , he is leaving the desert for a new job in the South.

To the tune of “Red River Valley.” With NO apologies. From the Valley they say you are going, we will miss your bright eyes and dry wit. For they say you are taking those new shirts that have brightened our photos a bit. Come and stand over here, let’s play Mozart do not hasten those triplets at D. And remember the time that my string broke and you spoke extemporaneously?

As you drive your car eastwards on I-10 to the land of mint juleps and grits. Where everything meat-like is battered and fried till it’s ever so crisp.

Hold the grease, and make my tea unsweetened, I’m aware that I act like a Yank. I will never get used to these new suits; Do I look like I work at a bank? You will meet lots of interesting people and start drawling in no time at all. When y'all take your car in to be serviced they’ll change filters and put in new “awl.”

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