The Ballad o’ Billy Bob

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Once Billy Bob ‘d been to war
            He up ’n’ went right back.
See, nothin’ mattered much no more
Once Billy Bob ‘d been to war.
He’d say times can’t be like before
             ‘Is time spent in I-raq.
Once Billy Bob ‘d been to war
            He up ’n’ went right back.

Belinda loved ol’ Billy Bob
            An’ said she’d be ‘is wife.
Before she met that a-hole, Rob,
Belinda loved ol’ Billy Bob.
But, he was jus’ a workin’ slob
            Who’d picked a soldier’s life.
Belinda loved ol’ Billy Bob
            An’ said she’d be ‘is wife.

Each night he tried to fall asleep
            Po’ Billy Bob ‘d dream:
There’d be these A-rabs herdin’ sheep
Each night he tried to fall asleep—
Then, “Waaaaaa!” these babies all ‘d weep;
            Their mommas all ‘d scream . . .
Each night he tried to fall asleep
            Po’ Billy Bob ‘d dream.

When Billy Bob was back again
            He swore, “What’s done is done.”
An’ one dark night—jus’ after 10—
When Billy Bob was back again,
He burned Belinda’s letters, then
            He cleaned ‘n’ cocked ‘is gun.
When Billy Bob was back again
            He swore, “What’s done is done . . .”

As Billy Bob was laid to rest
            The townfolk called ‘im brave.
Belinda wore ‘er Sunday best
As Billy Bob was laid to rest . . .
She stood there—like their daughter—dressed
            In black beside ‘is grave.
As Billy Bob was laid to rest
            The townfolk called ‘im brave.
Johnny Longfellow

Johnny Longfellow

Johnny Longfellow has served for nearly 20 years as a mentor to Newburyport, MA high school students through their Poetry Soup reading series and annual print journal.  The editor of the online street-poetry site, Midnight Lane Boutiquehis own poetry has recently appeared in The Five-Two, The Literary Hatchet, and The Rotary Dial.
Johnny Longfellow

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