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All That I've Left

by Matthew Scharpf

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1.
Well the walk this spring morning is cold And our farmhouse is empty and sold It’s the last time I’ll walk ‘long our river And touch the trees that delivered Your crimson, burnt orange, and gold. You were always amazed this time of year How fast the sun set and the chills reappeared I think back to all of your pain As the doctors would claim that You’d be out of the woods, in the clear. But oh what a show while your curtain was closing Now your rocking chair’s empty and still It’s all that I’ve left I remember so much from that day Watched your eyes well as the branches kept swaying Felt the same wind you’d been painting As your color slowly faded From sunshine to dishwater grey But oh what a show while your curtain was closing Now your rocking chair’s empty and still It’s all that I’ve left It’s all that I’ve left And the sun always found its way to your face As you’re laying in bed after everything’s been said like a prayer All the places we never went! All the letters never sent into thin air One thing you left was a canvas half begun Of your rocking chair worn out and numb I still hear it crackling and creaking Through loose boards in the ceiling Oh some things just never get done
2.
Home 04:18
Home © Matthew Scharpf She turned on her radio and I turned on my wrecking ball She had only just punched in and I was in charge of letting her go When did I become the one they loathe? Waiting for the train that night breathing in the city’s poisoned air There she is shoulders slumped crying on her train to who knows where Watch out man you just might start to care I’m home I’m home No picket fence no light left on I’m home I’m home and alone I’m home I’m home Doesn’t matter much where I go I’m home I’m home and alone Sitting silent on the train racing towards that skyline hell Staring as the ties pass fast and the rails cast their soothing spell How does everyone hear my leper’s bell? I’m home I’m home Doesn’t matter much where I go I’m home I’m home and alone I’m home I’m home Just a suitcase for this callous soul I’m home I’m home and alone…so alone I’m home I’m home No picket fence no light left on I’m home I’m home and alone I’m home I’m home Doesn’t matter much where I go I’m home I’m home and alone…so alone I’m home I’m home Doesn’t matter much where I go I’m home I’m home and alone…so alone I’m home I’m home Just a suitcase for this callous soul I’m home I’m home and alone…so alone
3.
Caroline 03:28
Caroline In a sideways rain The bus made us wait Your dress asked the sun To come out and play I turned around umbrella in hand Caught your smile that felt like sunshine You’d cast your spell so I never could tell that you fell under mine Caroline We ran hand-in-hand Up the courthouse steps
Only two months had passed And your mama wept We traded rings and clipped our wings Together till the end of time When you signed your name right under mine Caroline We may have missed some cues And time has turned some screws But through the twists and the turns Your colors stayed so true We’ve built archives Been climbing slides Leaning toward your endless sunshine You say it’s never set ‘cuz you just reflect from being under mine
4.
Last Flight Out © Matthew Scharpf 2015 Full moon lights my empty place
 tide is high and salt fills the breeze
 The silence speaks as I'm mopping up
 my millionth midnight in the Keys

 I remember us getting off the plane
 To Work a season maybe two
 We'd clock out early every time it rained
 Lay in bed and hear the drops hit the roof

 And I recall those taillights fading out when you took the last flight out

 Bought this sliver of a beachfront joint
 The day you bought your ticket home
 Now there's a line to get in nearly every night
 Yet I'm always alone

 When it rains I fall back in time
 Before my stint behind bars
 Then I return to serving drinks and time 
Sentenced to life that isn’t ours

 CHORUS 
The moon is rising up the surf hits my feet
 Take your picture out empty my bottle and fall to the beach
 Try to find the words then it starts to rain and I understand Lightning Flashes, thunder rolls The storm has passed and so have we Does the rain make you think of us And what we unlocked with our turn in the keys? 
And I recall those taillights fading out
 when you took the last flight out

 Last flight out
 Last flight out



5.
Leaving Country Time’s never there To find where you belong in this old place All these tangled knots and complicated things Had the simplest ways The rear view stares The road I left behind begins to fade Thoughts of turning back and I’ve traveled much too far In the simplest ways Leaving Country on a sun-soaked day Driving over Mackinac try and find my place Leaving Country and I can’t say why With all the things that turn around when will I arrive Where have I gone? Followed all the signs with eyes wide as the road has turned Been chasing down the sun and I’ve learned some of the hardest things In the simplest ways Leaving Country on a sun-soaked day Driving over Mackinac try and find my faith Leaving Country and I can’t say why With all the things that I’d known before when will I arrive? When will I arrive? And I’ve come so far and yet I haven’t moved The highway has cast its spell And the engines drone and this disintegration had the simplest way. The simplest way. Can you hear me now screaming from my window? Yes I’m crying, thinking about what it could have been Can you hear me now? I’m all strung out and withdrawn Yes I’m dying, wishing about what it could have been What we could have been! Can’t you see it with me? Oh these days go by and yet it stays so clear. Can’t you see us now? Can’t you see us? Can’t you see us? Oh these days it seems to go by fast. These days I often cry.
6.
When We Get There When we get there we’ll be a pair. Go to high school football games, know all the players. And I’ll show you a place that’s always been, Just a bit around the way, it’ll get under your skin When we get there. When we get there on a crisp October day, We’ll smell the burning autumn leaves, Watch the evening swallow the day. And I’ll walk you to the fair for some ice cream. Make you smile like a little child on the Wild Abilene. When we get there. And if you see what I see Then please come with me And we’ll find what we need As we go. When we get there, we’ll breathe the air. Read the books you only read about in your favorite chair. Without worries, time will be our friend. Spend the day drinking lemonade write the letters never sent. When we get there. And if you see what I see Then please come with me And we’ll find what we need As we go. The birds will build their nests, the spiders their webs, and you and I our home Our lives will compose a song, our kids will dance along, and our path will become a poem When we get there, there’ll be a front porch swing, Umbrella drinks and cool summer nights, we’ll hear the crickets sing. And I’ll play you the songs you’ve heard before Like an old friend suddenly pullin’ in and knockin’ on your door When we get there. And if you see what I see Then please come with me And we’ll find what we need as we go. And if you take my hand Who knows where we’ll land But we’ll make our plans as we go. © Matthew Scharpf 2010
7.
Roanoke Punished myself today at how we used to be Walking Talking in the woods Always meeting by our tree near the fence Where I carved out our names and misunderstood That you were amazed at what I’d always want For the little I’d rarely give. You were the first pioneer on my heart’s frontier And if you say I never tried, could you say I quit? Roanoke, Roanoke Why’d you have to leave? Roanoke, Roanoke Why you such a mystery? When I came back you had gone But our tree still remains The fence has rusted and now I burn All I have is your carved out name Roanoke, Roanoke Why’d you have to leave? Roanoke, Roanoke Why you such a mystery? Leaves have fallen from our tree Snow crunches under my feet Seasons changed but oh not I All I know is you deserved a reply Roanoke, Roanoke Why’d you have to leave? Roanoke, Roanoke Why you such a mystery? Roanoke, Roanoke Why’d you have to leave? Roanoke, Roanoke It’s not such a mystery It’s not such a mystery It’s not such a mystery
8.
Make Me Laugh I went away last weekend and she hardly crossed my mind. On the way I swore I’d say we were both wasting all our time Despite myself, again I’m in her arms just like before Is this silence something I should fill? Should I dwell upon it anymore? Then she says “Why don’t you make me laugh again?” “’Cause you’ve heard them all before.” “Why don’t you smile at me?” she says “Don’t you love me anymore?” We cruised dusty backroads Sunday and I swear she never heard a word Driving home when the sun sat low everything got a little blurred When she said “Why don’t you make me laugh again?” “’Cause you’ve heard them all before.” “Why don’t you smile at me she?” she said. “Don’t you love me anymore?” I could swear I love her but sometimes I grow tired Of fearing what I feel and what she wants as I lie beside her Maybe we’re keeping secrets we should both just let on out But sometimes when her walls close in I search for some way out When she says “Why don’t you make me laugh again?” “’Cause you’ve heard them all before.” “Why don’t you smile at me she?” she said. “Don’t you love me anymore?”

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released April 23, 2018

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Matthew Scharpf Berwyn, Illinois

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