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Shadows On A Dime (Ferron)

This window makes a perfect frame For New England leaves like painted rain They hold me as I hold this train All shadows on a dime. You move forward fast by holding back You gauge your steps and you don't look slack Me I'm looking backward down the track To see us dreamers in our prime. I poured my soul in Santa Cruz I ached all night, Next day I lost my shoes It's so optional what you may or may not lose in this pattern we call time. Fifteen years ago I worked the line With a thousand more all doing time While a foreman smiled complicit crime We were strangers to the plan. An old old woman ran the gears She couldn't move They said she'd been there forty years ...I think that's rude... 'Cause forty years is forty years And I was only fifteen then. The work waged war upon our backs But we gauged our steps and we didn't look slack One day the old woman didn't come back I couldn't work so well and they let me go. But I don't forget about the factory I don't expect this ride to always be Can I give you what you want to see? Can we do it one more time? Ten years have worn this guitar down Its ivory whites are now mustard brown Its face bears cracks from every town Still it resonates with age. Where would I be without its ring? Who would I be if I didn't sing? For half a chance you spare nothing -- A tethered bird to a tethered cage. I sing to you to feed the dream I call to you 'though it's a muted scream We're one on one projected beams Translucent future be our sage. Five years have blazed since she warmed my side She is my gift I've loved and cried With her level look she is my guide A spirit on the wing Our love has jostled like this train Or like the moon to wax and wane But to know somebody worth the strain -- Me I have one gift to bring I cried for here then I let her down She let me go and then we came around I felt us new and I felt the ground And I felt myself believing. And now a tired conductor passes by He takes my ticket with a sigh I don't think he meant to catch my eye But he doesn't turn away. He says "I have a daughter as old as you And there's really nothing anyone else can do Do you play guitar...well good for you Me I play the violin" I imagine him with his hair jet black Does he hide his fiddle in the back? He gauged his words as the train went slack: The New York train stops here But I don't forget the factory I don't expect this ride to always be Can I give them what they want to see Let me do it twice -- The second time for me. 'Cause these windows make a perfect frame For New York buildings like upright trains They hold me as I hold the rain Fleeting shadows on a dime.