wash my face lord
Danny’s dead. He died because he didn’t want to live anymore, if you want to know the truth of it. That’s hard on a family. Knowing someone they love would rather be dead in a hole in the ground than be with them. And that’s where they all said he was. Because he didn’t believe.
A boy from the mountain, turned into an old man, preached his funeral: “We can’t help this poor soul anymore. It’s too late for him now. But we can help our living brothers and sisters…..”
Maybe someone should have shook him a little. Saying the things he did. No peace be with you or God’s gonna comfort you. Just “Well, he went to hell but you don’t have to.” I’d have hit him over the head with the Good Book he was beatin’ if I thought it would do any good.
He meant well. I guess. But what’s that they say about the road to hell……
Pa says the preacher’s a fine man. He and Danny grew up with him. His brother would have wanted him there, to say the last words anyone ever said about him.
I don’t know about that. I think maybe Debbie should have done it. I think he would have liked that. Cause some preachers don’t know what they think they do, and I don’t think that preacher knew much about Danny.
Sure, he knew he drank and raised hell for 50 years. Who didn’t? Knew when he was young he spent more time in a Jailhouse Avenue bed than in his own. Knew he met his old lady in a bar in String Town.
“She was dancing on a table,” Danny told me this himself, “I took her home and never took her back.”
“That’s a fact, boys.” Pa was with him on the night.
The preacher didn’t know Danny spent most of his life thinking Pa was good enough for the both of ’em, and one day, before it was too late, he’d make it right.
Now, maybe that ain’t the way to do it. To a preacher’s way of thinking. But that’s how Danny done it. I believe.
A week before he died, before he decided he wasn’t gonna move anymore and nobody could make him, he told Pa he was going home. Said he’d let the Reverend take him down to the river and wash his face.
A man like Danny don’t go down to the river for nothin’. He don’t talk about baptisin’ lest he means it. He ain’t about show.
The preacher’s busy on the pulpit, trying to help the living on their way to the other side. Well, maybe Danny didn’t need his help. Maybe he done it himself. A man can do those things. Without a mountain preacher. If he really wants to.
Maybe someone’s washin’ his face right now. Down in the Jordan.
You never know. And that’s all I’m tryin’ to say.