To a Picker

by Ed Davis

—for Steve

Play that mandolin day and night;
play it through darkness, charm the light.
Let fingers fret feelings, cleave to bone;
shout down the faithless, take it home.
Flat-pick, ride-swap, hot-lick and strum;
minstrelize, improvise, hop, skip and run
till the day’s gone down on Kingdom Come.
Gambol, howl, caper till the very air rings;
pick, frisk, frolic, strike those strings!
Grab your partners, whirl and sweat;
weft and warp, sway right, sway left.
Let the sun lay down on your storied past,
release all care and rest at last.