By Joseph Hesch
The twenty-somethings asked me,
"These bills, how did we earn them...when?
Where has the time gone?"
Call me in twenty years, youngsters,
should I survive that long to accept your call.
You'll have earned a few of those answers then.
Now, though, your lives move too fast,
like trains hurtling past one another
on tracks an arm’s length apart.
You know those are windows across from you,
but there's no way you can recognize anyone
sitting there, maybe sucking on a Red Bull,
wishing he or she was still in bed
bumped up against--or bumping up against--
that warm form in the portside sheets.
You just see a whoosh of silver-gray
flashing its own sheets of strobe-light
what-ifs and maybes. And you try not to look
too hard at it because it just ends up
hurting your eyes and sometimes your heart.
So you keep your head down,
keep trundling forward,
occasionally gasping up for a breath
and a look-see at where you are.
At your age, it’s hardly ever
to see where you're going.
If you're lucky, someday
somebody will tap you on the shoulder
and tell you it's okay to step off.
You've reached "there."
Problem is, is this going to be the "there"
you were expecting when you boarded?
When they left me, I pulled out my “Leaves,”
and thought: Cloud-whiskered Walt,
make me feel that young and special again,
you blessed old dreamer you.
I need your wisdom and winsome words
more than ever. We all do. Lift me
from this dark platform.
That's the motion I wish to feel
in my body electric.
I have my ticket and I'm listening
for your robust