what you believed in when you were young

What You Believed in When You Were Young

At least
when you
were young
you believed,
that’s the
way it
was back
then anyway,
a rebel
without a
cause sort
of belief,
not some
blanket abstraction,
you devoured
absorbed things
into your
flesh &
blood, like
your ’49
Ford convertible,
your slicked
back D.A.,
Chuck Berry
blasting over
the A.M.
radio as
you raced
over the
dark back
roads of
behind the
backstop over
some girl.


You were
didn’t read
& you
& your
buddy Mert
tore up
the high
school soccer
field on
your Harleys
when they
threw you
out of
Then you
went to
work in
the factories,
& on
Thursday nights
you’d wait
in the
parking lot
on your
for the
Catholic girls
to come
out of


It wasn’t
until years
later in
the army
when everything
you believed
in had
been dashed
to pieces
that you
found books.


You read
The Stranger
cover to
cover on
your bunk
in the
barracks &
thought a
new door
was opening,
when in
fact the
only door
that mattered
was closing
softly behind you.

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