Oregon Bride

from by Malachi Graham

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about

Your mother and father wrote letters
the long way across the great divide
He was living and sinning in New York City
and she was his Oregon Bride.

When they met he was a sailor looking for something more
And her hair was red and tangled, but her eyes shown out so pure
That he swore to always love her as she loved her own dear home
And to one day join her on that shore.

She waited 5 years for his arrival
Said "Drop me if I'm bound to fall!"
He wrote "No, no, no-- I won't leave you alone!
Just wait a while longer for my call."

And the word it came 2 years later
"Let's meet in the middle!" he said
"A new life together on the sweeping central plain!"
And it wasn't what he'd promised but she got on that black train.

He was not in Kansas City where he said that he would be
Nor in Oklahoma, nor in Nashville, Tennessee
But she couldn't go back homeward though her eyes were burning green
So she climbed aboard the last train to New York

And he was waiting at Grand Central Station
Arms outstretched to show her to the crowd
She took his hand to help her down, so he slid on her a ring
Though her heart was tearing up for home.

And the buildings were taller than her mountains
The streets more narrow than the gorge
She could hardly breathe in that dark city
While her belly was growing large

And those green eyes, given time, did darken
Her wild hair tangled by the Western winds no more
She gave him an inch and he took three thousand miles
That's why she raised you on this foreign shore.

credits

from Selfish, released April 10, 2015

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about

Malachi Graham Portland, Oregon

Malachi Graham channels her Portland matriarchy in lush, intimate Americana inspired by family lore and complicated women.

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