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Hill Country Blues, a poem by Norbert Krapf

Editor's note: Robert Belfour was born Sept. 11, 1940. He died in 2015.

Hill Country Blues
by Norbert Krapf

for Robert Belfour

Robert, Robert, they say you are gone.
They say your spirit is gone, way gone,
but your music plays on and yes on.

You grew up in northern Mississippi Hills.
I grew up in southern Indiana hills.
I never hear your song without a thrill.

On the sidewalk outside Cat Head Delta Blues
I stood peering at your face and your shiny shoes
as you sat playing the hypnotic Hill Country Blues.

Brother, brother, how you laid down that groove.
You laid down that ancient mesmerizing groove
that was anything but slick, light, and smooth.

Somehow I hear a horse clomp, clomp, clomp.
I see and hear an old horse clomp, clomp, clomp
when you play your eternal Hill Country Stomp.

About the poet: Former Indiana Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf's most recent poetry collection is Catholic Boy Blues, which was followed by the related prose memoir Shrinking the Monster, winner of an Illumination Book Award and finalist for an INDIES Award. Forthcoming is a collection of poems about his grandson (almost three), Cheerios in Tuscany. Norbert co-facilitates a workshop with Liza Hyatt, Bless This Mess: Writing About Difficult Relationships. For more, see