Such a sad song. It is about a drunk white man beating a black waitress with his cane. She died from the blow and the assailant served only six months in prison. It does not usually take very long for political or topical songs to become dated, but this one does not seem so old, even fifty years later.
I think Miles was a kind and fair young man. I wish I had talked to him more about issues and talked to him about how a person can be a positive influence and change the world in big and small ways. I wish I could have had more conversations like that. I wish I could have listened to what he had to say and understand what he thought and why he wanted to do what he wanted to do. I wish I could have listened. I wish I listened more and talked less.
I see Miles in my imagination and he never talks. He nods and shrugs and smiles and sits quietly and patiently. But I never hear him talk. I have heard stories of parents who lost their children and their children come to them in dreams and speak to them, kind and soothing reassuring words. But when I see Miles he is quiet and that is fine. It is nice just to see him. I see him for real in a way, forever 17 and peaceful and understanding.