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HARTFORD, John


Gentle On My Mind

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 are dried upon some line

That keeps you in the backroads

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 walking

It's just knowing that the world will not be cursing

Or forgiving when I walk along some railroad track and find

That you're moving on the backroads

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 cryin' to her mother

'Cause she turned and I was gone

I still might run in silence tears of joy might stain my face

And the summer sun might burn me 'til I'm blind

But not to where I cannot see

You walkin' on the backroads

By the rivers flowing gentle on my mind

I dip my cup of soup back from a gurglin'

Cracklin' caldron in some train yard

My beard a roughening coal pile,

And a dirty hat pulled low across my face

Through cupped hands 'round the tin can

I pretend to hold you to my breast and find

That you're waiting from the backroads

By the rivers of my memories

Ever smilin' ever gentle on my mind