Thursday, December 11, 2014

...and then it was gone

I was pushing a stroller on the sidewalk one day
When a sleek motor bike came roaring my way
An old friend was holding the chrome handlebars
Of a bike that cost more than both of my cars

It was brand new and shiny, the detailing extensive
But diapers and formula were awfully expensive
It made me feel sad, a little withdrawn
as it zoomed right on past, and then it was gone.

I was mowing my grass on a Sunday in June
When my old friend drove by in pick-up, ‘round noon
My jealousy bubbled, the bile just poured
The horsepower galloped, the engine, it roared

But there were school clothes to buy, the roof needed shingles
Besides, trucks were for those who were footloose young singles
I stood there and watched on my hard-scrabble lawn
As it zoomed right on past, and then it was gone.

I was painting the trim, my patience worn thin
When my old friend drove by with a new car again
A convertible this time, in bright cherry red
Every boy’s dream, some romantic said

Could’ve made it my goal, my personal mission
But the kids went to college and needed tuition
In the chess game of life I was merely a pawn
As it zoomed right on past, and then it was gone.

It was many years later, on a cold winter morn
My old friend walked by, looking sad and forlorn
I invited him in, to escape from the cold
I was shocked by his face, he looked haggard and old

“Not driving today?” was the salient question
He shook his head sadly at the very suggestion
“What happened to the Caddy, the Harley, the Benz?
Do you still have them, or have you sold them to friends?”

He answered, “I’d give you them all, if in trade
I could have the family and the life that you’ve made
I’ve said I loved cars as I raced ‘round a track
But not a damned one of them has loved me back.”

We tried to remember the days of our youth
The times when we weren’t quite so long in tooth
He exited sadly, refusing my assistance
He said he’d be fine, despite my insistence

He said, “Life seemed so simple, and so clearly drawn
as it zoomed right on past, and then it was gone.”

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