to lost dreams and sense of wonder
to the streets that raised him. say,
“goodbye” to the hope for the home he’d been holding.
say, “goodbye” and “be gone” and “be great.”
to the friends who left when they still could,
for the ones who chose to stay to waste away unplaced,
alone, and pray
to get out,
to grow old,
to grow strong and
leave this city, so familiar all it’s places,
all these memories turn each day more to gray,
more they sp*ce out till it’s once a year we’ll catch up, maybe less, or
else just daydreams while he’s working late
thinks only of those friends and when they left.
“are we still friends at all, my friends?”
can i leave?
rewind and find a younger man,
all hopes and goals and dreams alight and
bright with friendship at the crossroads in the night.
“now make a choice,” the city said.
we were barely twenty then, but
while i swore it my allegiance
they chose leaving, all my friends. and
now it’s letters, maybe phone calls, that
come less and less each year.
all addressed with wives and children
to the fool who chose to stay here.
and it hurts me to know i’m alone now,
and it’s worse when i know that i chose it.
don’t make the same mistake as me,
don’t make the same mistake.
and now my friends have all left. or it’s been me gone all along. i guess we all part one day and drop like leaves into the breeze. and ain’t it wild? ain’t it bitter? (didn’t it carry you from me?) but it’s the coping with my fear that keeps me here. see, once it’s gone you can’t retrieve it (do i regret you? can i forget you?) i still believe i might get left here. i might turn 63 still sweeping up the gutters in the street or weeding concrete. wait and see. we’ll wait and see. or, rather, i will. only me.
“don’t make the same mistake as me. say ‘goodbye’ and ‘be gone’ and ‘be great’ and be done and be free.”