Mom and Dad gave Billy that dime store guitar
when he was little. He took it from there.
I left home, and when I orbited back,
he’d transformed himself into a big ball of
Toy Caldwell, Richard Betts and Jerry Garcia.
The kid with the plastic-stringed plywood box
now strode onto stages a guitar god.
But when he gave in to his blues…oh my.
Under the lights, with that Strat in his hands,
he finally was who he was meant to be…himself.
He could raise us up, then make us cry,
all with a two-step bend of a G.
Then he’d release it, like he did one night
with his spirit, to sit in with Toy and Jerry.
He’ll never have to give up his seat.
Stevie Ray says he’s got his back.
He’s Wild Bill and they all know
he just belongs.
My friend Anthony Desmond has asked folks to write a poem about music. My relationship with music is deep as the Marianas Trench, but it’s center of gravity always is my late brother Bill.