Thursday, April 6, 2023


 The Boss

I was eleven listening to Born in the USA

Blasting from cheap boom box speakers 

Sprawled out on the skin thin carpet

Of my tiny bedroom in Massillon.

Even then I knew it wasn’t an anthem.

I’d read the lyrics, all the songs,

Printed on the fold out

Cassette cover like it was scripture

I was born to run I had a hungry heart

I was going to get out of that two-bit

Dead man’s town and go racing in the streets

Far away from this hand me down precarity

That tempts most into a docile mediocrity

And find a reason to believe.

Driven by nothing but a desperate hope

And an inchoate rage manifesting as tenacity 

All I had to do was not give up, not stop

No matter how much disappointment

Dripped down from the dark clouds

Of a two faced modern American life 

This was the music that told the truth

About the quiet middle aged acceptance

Of finding yourself alone in the space

Somewhere between everything you 

Ever wanted and all you have lost

Or left behind 

It’s the price you gotta pay

It's the faces looking through you

It’s the ghosts in the eyes

Haunting my son someday when

Everyone he loves is sent away.

Eleven himself now, he sprawls

Across a much softer carpet

In a much bigger home

Occupying himself unthinkingly

With all the things I erringly thought

Made the least bit of difference.

Soon enough it will be up to him

To stop waiting for that moment

That won't ever come until

He finds his own way to live

With the self-same sadness

And reckon with the rollicking madness

That I’ve loved him into living


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