Why is it that so many songwriters
have an intense need, a desire really,
to leave the listener wondering
in frustration at how the story ends.
I can forgive Leonard Cohen for his
Hallelujah for no one is quite certain
how many verses he wrote, although
more than 80 seems to be the number,
so perhaps a missing one or ten
concludes the various stories
the song has told through time.
And Harry Chapin did give us
an ending of sorts to Taxi,
in his song Sequel, but even there
he left the door ajar, but he died
too young, so any subsequent sequels
went to the grave with him.
And one offender I cannot yet forgive
is the Ode to Billy Joe, since really,
he’s gone but that wasn’t enough
for brother, and you’d think
he would have a name since
he married Becky Thompson,
and what kind of store did they buy,
why in Tupelo, was she from there, and
what, if anything, do we know about her?
The songs live on and so do their mysteries.