Standin’ at the crossroads, I b’lieve I’m sinkin’ down.—Robert Johnson Somewhere down a Delta road, a cross Stark and white against the greenleaf, raised By some fervent Baptist, otherwise at loss To understand why some souls are saved And others lost. Robert Johnson, tale is told, Met the devil at the crossroads south of Rosedale And the devil wrapped his hand ‘round Robert’s soul And squeezed ‘til every song was a blues-y wail. The one chord digs the hole where the soul should be; The four’s the soul’s last struggle, though in vain. The five’s the height from which the soul can see The one again, like a long black train Arriving at the graveyard. Could we choose, We all would sell our souls to sing the blues. Driving through the Mississippi Delta not long ago, I saw a sight. Made me think about the blues. This sonnet has been knocking on the inside door of my brain ever since, trying to get out.