love poem for the boss

Love Poem for the Boss

A strange request,
write a love poem
for the Boss.
It’s not a nickname
he’s fond of,
he got it way back
when his band was
playing clubs &
he was the guy
in charge of
making sure they
got their money
at the end of
the night.

 

I’m disinclined to write
anything on demand,
but the request came
from someone who has
thrown some weight
behind my writing
over the years,
& the Boss,
he dug a six-inch valley
through the middle of
my skull back in
the summer of ’84
when my spirits were
down to seeds and stems,
46 years old,
coming out of a
hard winter in a
migrant’s shack,
son in prison,
wife off to
greener pastures,
toying around with a
pistol at a
green Formica table
with aluminum legs.

 

During that
long summer I’d
drive the back roads
of this
high mountain valley
until sunrise,
Born in the USA
playing non-stop
on the tape deck.
This went beyond
the top 40,
this was more than
rock ‘n’ roll,
this was
survival music.

 

It’s the music
that carries us
thru the darkness
of a no-win existence.
When I heard over the
radio that Ronald Reagan
had praised
Born in the USA
as a patriotic anthem
I sat in the dark
over my
working man’s beer &
laughed myself
straight into
salvation.

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