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Lyr Add: I Would Not Be Here (John Hartford poem)


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Uncle_DaveO 11 Jun 01 - 03:36 PM
Jacob B 11 Jun 01 - 04:45 PM
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Subject: John Hartford poem; serendipity in life
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 11 Jun 01 - 03:36 PM

In the wake of John Hartford's passing from this mortal vale of tears, I just learned of this poem of his, which makes a wonderful point about the interconnectedness of life.

I Would Not Be Here

I would not be here
If I hadn't been there
I wouldn't been there
if I hadn't just turned
on Wednesday the third
in the late afternoon
got to talking with George
who works out in the back
and only because
he was getting off early
to go see a man
at a Baker Street bookstore
with a rare first edition
of steamboats and cotton
a book he would never
have sought in the first place
had he not been inspired
by a fifth grade replacement
school teacher in Kirkwood
who was picked just at random
by some man on a school board
who couldn't care less
and she wouldn't been working
if not for her husband
who moved two months prior
to work in the office
of a man he had met
while he served in the army
and only because
they were in the same barracks
an accident caused
by a poorly made roster
mixed up on the desk
of a sergeant from Denver
who wouldn't be in
but for being in back
in a car he was riding
before he enlisted
that hit a cement truck
and killed both his buddies
but a back seat flew up there
and spared him from dying
and only because
of the fault of a workman
who forgot to turn screws
on a line up in Detroit
'cause he hollered at Sam
who was hateful that morning
hung over from drinking
alone at a tavern
because of a woman
he wished he'd not married
he met long ago
at a Jewish bar mitzvah
for the son of a man
who had moved there from Jersey
who managed the drugstore
that sold the prescription
that cured up the illness
he caught way last summer
he wouldn't have caught
except . . .

.........................John Hartford

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Subject: RE: John Hartford poem; serendipity in life
From: Jacob B
Date: 11 Jun 01 - 04:45 PM

He wouldn't have caught
Except for the kid
All contagious with fever
Who sat in his lap
Was the son of the man
Who sold him insurance
He met long ago at a smoker in college ...

(These additional lines are from the version John Hartford recorded on the Gentle On My Mind album.)

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