It’s Better from a Distance – my country song

The Poem…better_distance_image

It’s better from a distance

I have a friend who has it all
An attentive husband
Diamonds on her hands
And pearls around her neck.

I saw them out for dinner one night
He pulled out her chair
And kissed her cheek

And I pretended not to look
Pretended not to care.

I told her the next day
I saw you out with him

You look so happy.

I’d die to be you, lady.

She said
It’s better from a distance 

That cheek kissing,
And chair pulling,
There’s a price, dear.

I have to call ahead
And not be out too late.
I can’t have too many friends
Or he’ll feel bad.

But I can’t give it up
She said

What if no one else loves me?

I’d rather be you
She said
Free to roam
Free to be.

I smiled at her and I said

It’s better from a distance.

I have more room in my bed
But I get cold at night.

I don’t have to answer to,
But I don’t have a connection either

To share and swear
And sweat and bleed.

I’d give it up
I said, I guess
If it was right.

One day
On the job
I met a woman

With willowy legs
Pouty lips,
A star-dazzled smile.

She whisks on through with
A body that curves
And shudders.

She walks on glitter
In stilettos

All the pretty boys
And the ugly ones, too
They look at her
And heave a sigh.

Guess I do, too. 

In her presence
(When I found my voice)
I said
You’re so lovely

I’d die to be
As lovely as you.

And she curled her glossy lips
And smiled at me. 

She said
It’s better from a distance. 

I don’t want this wretched body.
I’m losing my soul

But I can’t give it up
She said

Or they won’t love me. 

(Even when she cried
She was lovely)

I’d rather be you,
She said
And live free
To be me.

And I almost,
I very nearly replied

It’s better from a distance.

But, instead

I closed my mouth
Put my hand on her back
And I cried too.


I wish I could tell you I was thinking deep thoughts when I wrote this.

But I wasn’t.  I was putting on makeup, and having a hell of a time powdering over the red blotches that persisted across my face.  I kept applying, and leaning in closer and closer to my (despairingly) unflattering mirror until my nose struck glass.

Nose sufficiently flattened, I stepped back a step or two and took a birds eye view of the situation.

‘Ah. There we go. It looks better from a distance.’


And Carrie Underwood’s voice rang inside my head – with all the fervor of “Blown Away”.

Whoever I was getting ready to go see had to wait another 45 minutes, because I made a bee-line for the computer and plunked out my country song.

I discovered country music during a couple of long road trips I took last summer, and really, I think the country music station is as good as a book on tape.  As a poet, I’ve come to love the twangy, down-home lyrics, and totally relatable blue-collar problems.  There’s a lot of inspiration in the every day man, and no music genre captures it better than country.

Every time I re-read this poem, I hear Carrie.

Actually, I don’t know the first thing about songwriting.  I’m about as musically inclined as a saucer lid.

Do you know how to write a song?  Wanna take a stab at re-working this and split the profits three ways: you, me, and Carrie? 😀

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