It's knowing that your door is always open and your path is free to walk,
That makes me tend to leave my sleeping bag rolled up and stashed behind your couch.
And it's knowing I'm not shackled by forgotten words and bonds and the ink stains that have dried upon some line,
That keeps you in the back roads by the rivers of my memory, that keeps you ever gentle on my mind.
It's not clinging to the rocks and ivy planted on their columns now that bind me,
Or something that somebody said because they thought we fit together walkin'.
It's just knowing that the world will not be cursing or forgiving when I walk along some railroad track and find
That you're moving on the back roads by the rivers of my memory and for hours you're just gentle on my mind.
Though the wheat fields and the clotheslines and the junkyards and the highways come between us,
And some other woman's crying to her mother 'cause she turned and I was gone.
I still might run in silence, tears of joy might stain my face and the summer sun might burn me till I'm blind,
But not to where I cannot see you walkin' on the back roads, by the rivers flowing gentle on my mind.
I dip my cup of soup back from a the gurglin', crackling cauldron in some train yard;
My beard a roughn'ning coal pile and a dirty hat pulled low across my face;
Through cupped hands 'round a tin can, I pretend to hold you to my breast and find,
That you're wavin' from the back roads by the rivers