Port Arthur Pearl

She sang like a freight train at full throttle,
Emotions bare as an empty bottle,
Drawing so deeply from a pool of pain:
Distraught, ecstatic, again, and again.

Each syllable was brutally honest;
Her feelings were anything but modest;
She conveyed exactly how she felt,
Gripping your heart and making it melt.

She could also be subtle, and so witty, too --
Even full of joy – not just a little girl blue;
This potent performer was a rock ‘n’ roll sarge,
A magnetic stage presence who always loomed large.

Yet while her career would shine like summertime,
Her emotional strength wasn’t worth a dime;
Acutely sensitive and insecure,
Her hunger for love would ever endure.

Great success just wasn’t enough –
Perpetual doubts proved too tough;
All the applause couldn’t drown those fears –
Too many had laughed at her for too many years.

Nursed by bitter memories and fears of tomorrow,
Depression dogged her like a pit bull of a shadow;
And to be alone was terrible,
A real nightmare beyond bearable.

So she surrounded herself with other outcasts and noise –
Full of bluster and pretending to be one of the boys;
If the party was big and loud enough,
Then perhaps her days wouldn’t be so rough.

But the parties, bad boys, and cheap thrills
Could not cover her loneliness bills;
Running away from facing her fears
Failed to slow the flow of all those tears.

So she treated the hurt within
With loads of booze and heroin –
Anything it took to escape the stress,
Whatever the cost or how dangerous.

“I just want a little peace,” she said,
To bury the blues inside her head;
So she ignored the close calls and carried on still,
Until she slipped off the ledge and paid the last bill.

Yet, despite the tragic waste of a remarkable life,
I celebrate the swell music to come from so much strife;
All that pain produced a musical pearl
Which is still savored by a grateful world.

So let us enjoy her each and every song,
Resolved to never treat someone different wrong,
But provide a safe harbor for anyone run aground,
And never glamorize deadly habits that drag us down.

Douglas Young