Written in homage to the city of Joplin, MO, the 2011 victim of a horrific tornado disaster, the text resonates profoundly in our world of all too frequent natural disasters. The composer paints a musical collage of the ending sentiment of the poem as it suggests how to recover “one step at a time.” This beautifully rendered composition would provide a thought-provoking moment in a program as it deals with the extraordinary power of nature and the resilience of the human spirit.
What happened to the life we built together?
Where did it go? The twisted tree trunks point the way.
Was I so bad that all we had was taken from us?
Did the beginning of the end begin today?
I wonder who will find your state fair ribbons.
Or our vacation money in the Mason jar.
Will they know that was your mother’s china tea set?
Are we covered for the house that crushed our car?
Everything we worked and scratched and saved for
Took a heartbeat and a thunderstorm to lose.
Those little bands that play on Beale Street know their music,
But if they’re not here, they’ll never know the blues.
Where will we go to get out of the weather?
Are we supposed to crawl back under the debris?
The only things we have left are what we’re wearing.
Our life will never be the way it used to be.
Then you tell me life is more than state fair ribbons.
And you fold your muddy fingers over mine.
And like the barn dance when you led me to the dance floor,
You smile and whisper, “We’ll take one step at a time.”