As often happens, the poem I had in mind began one way and ended another. Or maybe I should say, I added parts I had not known would naturally follow what my subconscious mind knew belonged there. I’ve listened to a lot of Bob Dylan lately and have used his words and music to stir my own emotions and creativity. I’ve wanted to move out of the realm of concrete thought and infuse my writing with more subtlety and nuance. I don’t know if I’ve achieved that here, but I like to think my writing is maturing. That’s the goal of all writers, I think, in the end. We want to entertain and inform, to make people think. I hope you like this poem.
On the Road with My Old Man Looking ahead beyond the highs and lows I just now realize I don’t have far to go Now that I know what to look for and see There ain’t much more can up and surprise me Rocks in my path have mostly crumbled away But nothing is smooth in this life anyway I’m taking my next step on this road today Looking back now I see lots of things I bound up tight in my own steel chains Crippled by memory and the passage of years I’ve mostly forgotten all my young fears I listened to him, though he mostly had little to say But his words ring true in my ears to this day Take that first step now, boy, it’s always today Today is too late to wish you’d done different It’s always regrets gets etched deep in cement You can’t make promises you’ll never keep The pool of sorrows is always chin deep It’s a good thing now and then to look up and thank God But it ain’t up to Him to give you that first prod Your road belongs to you, boy, no matter the odds Hit the road, Jack, there ain't no turning back Don’t come crawling when you come under attack Make your own way you owe no one a thing Don’t let no one give that bell the last ring Be a man when the hard times come around It’s your hide you gotta stand your own ground Your road’s what you make it, boy, weak or sound His words have followed me through all my today's He still walks beside me though we long parted ways I see him sometimes when I look to the skies My old man, deeply flawed, deeply wise I held his hand when he found the end of his road When his gray eyes went dim and his skin turned cold His road was mine and all its today's I stopped for a bite at an inn by the road She said where you bound, or are you going alone I’ve been alone myself, since my man up and left This old lunch counter makes me sad and bereft I need someone to love me going the same way My road’s gonna end, I don’t care how, someday My road’s gonna end, but please, God, not today She packed us some food, some beer, and her dog I asked her his name and she said it’s just Dog We left the lunch counter shuttered and closed The key in the lock and a note that said it’s all yours We headed for the West where everyone goes The end of all roads as everyone knows Into the sunset, where everyone goes