—In The Land Of Pain
In The Land Of Pain (cadence two)
The best way out is always through
Come here honey, give me some sugar.
He remembers her red lipstick on the butts in the tray
and later finding out that this same Merle
posed as a nurse for four years
the whole while she was stealing Seconal.
Three kinds of red in that memory.
She took Clutch fishing
this was in Arkansas when he was three maybe four
and he poured out her minnow bucket
right there and into the lake
because he wanted to see them swim away.
She cut a thin switch and whipped him good.
Make that four kinds of red.
Aunt Merle was the oldest of eight kids
the first three hell-raising alcoholics:
Merle, JB, and Doyne.
Then came Donald, killed by the war
in a bomber crew over Germany.
Then Christine, Joe, Jack, and Arlene.
Jack’s the only one still living
must be about 80 in a nursing home, California.
He was tall, young and handsome in his Navy uniform
with a good-looking wife
Mexican woman and a real a good cook
Her name was Esther.
These are the words of things
that are left us to remember.