Picture (Portrait)

by We Are The Willows

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released November 4, 2014

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We Are The Willows Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Track Name: Picture
I called to hear if you’d see me off.
Now that you’re here I cannot even talk.
Please understand these things that I would say
about myself to you but I am afraid.

So, I’ll say to you that a picture’s worth a thousand words.
I’ll take one of myself before I return, then you will learn
that the man I am and the man I will be are one and the same. Soon you will see, soon we all will see.
You to me and me to you.

All of us here want love to write about.
A woman in our arms, in our heads, and in our hearts.
So, tell me honestly please, what you feel for me.
Write it down and send it off. In three days time I will know it all.

And I’ll say to you that a picture’s worth a thousand words.
I’ll take one of myself before I return, then you will learn
that the man I am and the man I will be are one and the same.
Soon you will see, soon we all will see.
You to me and me to you.
Track Name: Dear Ms. Branstner
Dear Ms. Branstner, you are on my mind all the time.
I’m sleeping on the ground, for now, I’ll forget about
babies born, my aunt has met the lord.
She is living proof that our intentions do what we want them to.

A twenty-one gun salute could bring me back to you
in a casket wrapped in a flag.
I would be quarantined to a row of teeth
in an army green cemetery yard.

Dear Ms. Branstner, you are on my heart and you were from the start. To be there chopping wood is as good a chance as any
to see your face in time and place, your eyes and your kind smile.
I will reconcile me to you.

A twenty-one gun salute could bring me back to you
in a casket wrapped in a flag.
I would be quarantined to a row of teeth
in an army green cemetery yard.
I’ll be back. I’ll carry that casket, I’ll carry that flag.
I would be quarantined to a row of teeth
in an army green cemetery yard.
Track Name: We May Never Grow Old
We may never grow old
in a time when all things are known.
Within a year, I’ll probably be home.

So, don’t fret over me now.
I’ve got God and coffee grounds
and a mind to write every other day.
When this war’s over, I’ll wage
one on the paper page. It’s a light under a lamp shade.

We may never grow old.
Uncle Sam, me and the boys.
There is a place for me in this war.

So don’t fret over me now.
I’ve got God and coffee grounds
and a mind to write every other day.
When this war’s over, I’ll wage
one on the paper page.
It’s a light under a lamp shade.

You’re a light in my dark. I’ve a notion to start
seeing letterless days into letterless nights
and I’ll pay no attention to them.
Our love has no end, unless you change your mind.

So don’t fret over me now.
I’ve got God and coffee grounds
and a mind to write every other day.
When this war’s over, I’ll wage
one on the paper page.
It’s a light under a lamp shade.
Track Name: Eva Eva Eva
I wanna be part of your photograph:
the sepia of your past.
I’ll color it in when I’m home.
You’re a smiling picture in a picture frame.
All the boys know your name
and the tune I hum when I’m thinking of you.
It goes, “Oh, I love her so, I want her to know without me blundering it.
That which is true to my heart, when my heart’s in my throat and the words won’t come out.”
All that to say,

Eva, Eva, Eva, I’m never gonna leave ya alone,
though I am not home.
Eva, Eva, Eva, my negative will feed ya its own
picture of the world I know, the world I know is so…

I could occupy a week or so
telling you and everyone we know
just why I intend to marry you.
You may not have been impressed by me.
You’re young, you’re beautiful, free.
I hope someday to hear you sing,
“Oh, I love him so. I want him to know without me blundering it.
That which is true to my heart, when my heart’s in my throat and the words won’t come out.”
All that to say,

Eva, Eva, Eva, I’m never gonna leave ya alone,
though I am not home.
Eva, Eva, Eva, my negative will feed ya its own
picture of the world I know, the world I know is so beautiful and it’s terrible.
You are beautiful. You are beautiful.
Track Name: To Me From You
Oh boy, if you could see what I am seeing now:
four motors flying a half mile above the ground.
In their path the trees will all be hewn down.
Ol’ sol won’t have to work hard to come up and around.
Those trees and our enemies will bow down to us.
Never to rise, forever to rest.
Am I certain of this? Am I certain of anything?

All I need is you, even a half truth of your silhouette in my living room.
What am I to do with my love for you? Should I bury it with those letters written to me from you?

So you think that those city boys would serve Sam well?
I believe that anyone could when they’re not living in some living hell.
What makes a man? Is it his circumstance?
What kind of thief could a man be if he’s never had a want or a need for anything?
Who’s hand above are we swinging in? And who is he accountable to in the end?
Oh my God, I see it all, I see the end; his face is facing me and the ground is facing him.
Is he different than me? Am I different than anyone?

All I need is you, even a half truth of your silhouette in my living room.
What am I to do with my love for you? Should I bury it with those letters written to me from you?
Track Name: My New Name
What is this I feel in my fingertips every other three weeks from your home address?
For every day that’s letterless, I’ll bury my own happiness.
Until these bodies dissipate I’d appreciate a word or two more from you.

All the boys’ bets say that you have forgotten me like their gals did them those several months ago.
It appears as if we’ve disappeared from the world and the ones that we hold dear.
Until my body dissipates, I anticipate a word or two more from you.

Address it to, “A Bundle Of Blues.”
It’s all I have for you.
The day before the day after tomorrow.
I will reply that I might die today.
With love from me, 37322636.
Track Name: Stillborn And Stuttering
If you get this letter from someone better, don’t blame me.
Honestly, there’s more that I would say, but not today, for I am afraid of a court-martial date
and a visit from the captain. I’ll tell him all about it.
“I want her to know something of me so when she visits those other boys
she’ll have the clearest choice. She’ll love me so.”
I want her to know
that playing war is all right until it’s for keeps.

I just don’t know what I want to mean.
All of these words tied up inside of me.
Cooing, coughing, stillborn and stuttering.
All that to say, let’s just leave it be.

Can you believe this weather? It’s never been better. It’s hardly sober, he’s stumbling all over, spending that money I make.
I give, I give, he takes and takes. Well, I love him so I’ll let him know he’s playing war against himself and against me.

I just don’t know what I want to mean.
All of these words tied up inside of me.
Cooing, coughing, stillborn and stuttering.
All that to say, let’s just leave it be.
Track Name: Wedding Song
Where are you now? I’m thinking of you,
in a dirty foxhole, in my dirty boots.
If we were married with a baby too,
I’d be this burning flame for you.

I will compensate for your lack of love.
You will know my name when nobody else does.
We will plant a garden with these seeds.
We will have a son, he will have a son, he will be our grandson.

Where is she now, in Idaho.
She cut all her hair for him.
Does he know?
She said that she loved him,
he didn’t show.
Now they’re getting married, so I’d say he knows.

That she will compensate for his lack of love.
She will know his name when nobody else does.
I will hold a candle to their flame,
for I have felt the same.
I have felt that he will complement her every move.
He’ll get that tattoo just to prove it.
She’s burning up in his open flame.
She is burning up, she is burning up, and he will do the same.
Track Name: Turpentine To An Open Wound
Back in the old days, I had my own ways of loving you.
They were turpentine to an open wound that I was for you
in November, and now it’s June.
The reverend, he, his family were gathered there.
You had paint hiding in your hair.
I was standing in your kitchen door.
What have I come around for?

To say that the wars we wage are all children’s games.
We are boys and girls wearing colanders and capes.
In these dreadful days my head is that place
where you love me and branches are swords.
I’ll use them here to fight this war.

Now these are peaceful days, and I am at war with ways of loving you.
I’ll put a pen to paper to try and explain to you what eight thousand miles can do
when there are one hundred more between me and you.
Darling, you don’t write me of your love anymore.
I’m sleeping on this davenport.
When guests arrive I will be on the floor.
What have I even come home for?

To say that the wars we wage are all children’s games.
We are boys and girls wearing colanders and capes.
In these dreadful days my head is that place
where you love me and branches are swords.

Darling I love and want you desperately.
Still more I need that returned to me.
So in truth, honestly, frankly as can be,
do or don’t you want to marry me?

I’ll wait as long as need be.
Track Name: Wondering Out Of My Head
Dearly beloved, I’ve gathered myself here despite the odds, machine guns, and my fears.
Tell me not to fret or worry over our love.
I need more than a might, a probably or a maybe, I’m thinking, dreaming, wondering and so forth.

All that time you were on my mind.
My head was in the ground.
My thoughts of you were tulip blooms,
frostbitten and buried in the snow.
I’ve said what I mean and meant what I said:
your garden grows inside my head,
I harvest you all the time.
So tell me now you’ve dug and you’ve found
our love to be true and profound;
that fact would carry me home.

Dearly beloved, I’ve gathered myself here despite the odds, machine guns, and my fears.
You’ve told me not to fret or worry over our love. You’ve given your word, an oath, a promise of both your love and your confidence. So I’m thinking, dreaming, wondering and so forth.

Now that I’ve come home out of that mess and that foxhole, your wedding dress into my heart and out of my head.
We’ll have our own home. A garden grows hope and all we don’t know, and all we do roots in the ground and out of our heads.
We will have children there, and they will have kids and their children’s hair will curl, and their kids will grow in and out of our heads.
We too will both grow old, lay down in our beds in the ground low low, plant ourselves into their hearts and out of their heads.