(Originally published just a year ago at AND/OR, presented here again today in memory of Mr Lennon, on the anniversary of his murder.  I’ve been thinking about him all day.)


When He’s Sixty-Four

 He gets pulled over again, and this time
the cop is only about fifteen years old,
wants to know what’s up; tells him
there’s always been a stop sign at the
bottom of the hill; says he must be blind
or crazy, flying through there like that;
tells him he ought to turn off the radio,
get his mind on his driving.
                                             He tells the cop
he’s sorry; he says he was thinking about
his old friend John who got shot in front of
his hotel, right in front of his wife and
the cop says yeah well that’s awful and all
but, still, ya gotta slow it down, Sir; gotta
slow it down and watch the signs or
you’re gonna end up dead yourself
                                   —And he’s not so deaf
he can’t hear the condescending tone
in how the cop says sir; the way a bad father
speaks to a stubborn child—
                                               The cop says
I’m gonna let it slide this time, Sir,
but, still, you gotta watch the signs.
yeah, yeah he says, I hear you. Signs.
Huh. Imagine.

One thought on “FOR JOHN

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