A Portrait to Span Forever
May 5, 1987

In a high school alley we fell in love
and went to all the dances half high on life
Through the failures and the fights and defeats
and all that was right
I knew you'd be my wife

We held each other closely on summer days without end
When nightfall brought chill we had no reason to pretend
My band played love songs all written just for you
We focused on love and had faith in all we knew

We were painting a portrait to span forever
A frivolous, but worthwhile endeavor
We played and waited for a miracle
that never came

College mornings came without warning
Away you went to learn about a trade
At first the letters home and calls amazed me
I followed every letter with my hand and with my heart

My band played for what little we could earn
While you were away learning how to learn
I saw you and kissed you, holidays and such
Our love went from forever into nothing really much

But we were painting a portrait to span forever
A frivolous endeavor
We played and waited for the judgment day
that never came

Soon we had deceptions and hints of the end
And promises of letters and calls we'd never send
Still I played my guitar every night
And sang those stale love songs cheery and bright

You found another to call your own
When I played those songs, I played alone
My reason for success and fame had strayed
My love and life left to fade

We were painting a portrait to span forever
It looked as though it would be never
The dimes and dollars began to grow
But both of us were on our own

Many years have passed with their albums of fame
After years of struggle I'm a household name
I have women at bars and stadium halls
When I think of you, I would leave it all

Somewhere in suburbia, behind a picket fence
You sit knitting an afghan and saving every cent
One night by the radio you sit alone and hear
One of our love songs distant, yet clear

I've finished the portrait to span forever
A fruitless, fantastic but blind endeavor
One night in the dark as we finish our set
Listen closely for me calling to you yet
and don't forget

In that chair in the back of a wallpapered room
Your mind goes in circles your pulse starts to zoom
Regrets and doubts about every wonder you've ever had
About life and loving haunt you again and again
and again

My brush you captured when you went away
The paint all dried up on that fateful day
The canvas was torn, the easel destroyed
When you walked away into the monumental void

The tears roll, as I roll across the stage
We think about each other every day
We wonder what it was that might have been
Then continue lying to ourselves in the torment of our sin

I still love you
Hear the music play
Finished up my portrait
just the other day