It’s knowing that your door is always open and your
path is free to walk,
That makes me tend to leave my sleeping bag rolled up
and stashed behind your couch.
And it’s knowing I’m not shackled by forgotten words
and bonds and the ink stains that have dried upon some
That keeps you in the back roads by the rivers of my
memory, that keeps you ever gentle on my mind.
It’s not clinging to the rocks and ivy planted on their
columns now that bind me,
Or something that somebody said because they thought we
fit together walkin’.
It’s just knowing that the world will not be cursing or
forgiving when I walk along some railroad track and
That you’re moving on the back roads by the rivers of
my memory and for hours you’re just gentle on my mind.
Though the wheat fields and the clothes lines and the
junkyards and the highways come between us,
And some other woman’s crying to her mother ’cause she
turned and I was gone.
I still might run in silence, tears of joy might stain
my face and summer sun might burn me till I’m blind,
But not to where I cannot see you walkin’ on the back
roads, by the rivers flowing gentle on my mind.
I dip my cup of soup back from the gurglin’, crackling
cauldron in some train yard;
My beard a roughn’ning coal pile and a dirty hat pulled
low across my face;
Through cupped hands ’round a tin can, I pretend I hold
you to my breast and find,
That you’re wavin’ from the back roads by the rivers of
my memory ever smilin’, ever gentle on my mind.