Billy Austin

Did you ever get a song
stuck in your head?
A happy little jingle
about sunshine ahead?

In my head tonight
is Billy Austin’s
Tale of tragic plight
Come listen


I’ve been trying to write my 30-word poems this month without commentary. Each poem has presented challenges because of my self-imposed 30-word limit, but none so much as this one. Perhaps I should have waited until May to write this poem, but I decided to add an explanation instead.

Over the past week the song Billy Austin by Steve Earle has been running through my head. I know all the words by heart. It is a sad tale, a commentary on one aspect of our culture of death. It reminds me that the death penalty is a bit like us playing God when we have no business doing so. I cannot listen to this song without a tear (or two or ten) welling up in my eyes.

I hope you’ll take a moment to follow this YouTube link and give it a listen. Bring your tissues. And you can read the lyrics here.

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


2 Responses

  1. I am against capital punishment for most of the reasons Steve Earle mentioned in his song, in that if you are poor, black, ignorant, and so forth, you will not have the same chance for quality legal representation as those who are not limited by these hindrances. Since, I don’t believe this will ever change, I will remain a Christian conundrum: one who hates abortion and is against capital punishment.

    • My Christian stance is that I’m anti-abortion, anti-capital punishment, and pro-compassion. This song reminds me to step into the shoes of others and have compassion on them. Perhaps, I think, if Billy Austin hadn’t felt so alone all his life he never would have ended up where he did. Hopelessness breeds all kinds of sorrow, and so my goal is to spread the hope of Jesus where I can.

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