drinking beer with bob dylan


    The prompt from Writers’ Island this week was “The Journey.” I have no idea how I got from there to here, but here’s the poem — and I couldn’t pass up the video.

    drinking beer with bob dylan

    It’s late and we are sitting in a tavern
    I know well but can’t name.
    “Oh, where have you been my brown-eyed son?”
    he asks and smiles – I think it’s a smile.
    I laugh a little and look at my shoes,
    the ones I wear to work each day,
    black and wrinkled, with specks
    of something on one of the toes.

    “I’ve lived in the darkness they call my depression.
    I’ve cooked for a living and cooked out of loving.
    I come home to a woman who makes me feel wanted.
    I’ve written and planted and broken and hoped for.
    I’ve traveled the world without leaving my city.
    I’ve let myself dream what just might never happen.
    I’ve staked my whole life on a faith that’s elusive.
    I’ve stood under the stars to give thanks that I’m breathing.”

    He turns up his mug and wipes
    his mouth with his sleeve.
    “You would think, after forty-five years,
    I would have a new question,” he says,
    “but there’s seems nothing else to ask.”
    I look at his hands, now arthritic and unable
    to play the guitar; only the piano.
    Still, he plays and sings.

    He is sixty-six; I, soon, will be fifty-one;
    both of us just past the five and dime
    birthdays that are so heartily celebrated.
    Between us, we have over a century
    of stories and so we sit long into the night
    telling them, until the bartender
    tells us he has a journey of his own
    and sends us out into what is left of it.

    It would have been perfect
    if a hard rain had begun to fall,
    but it didn’t. We stood there in the chill
    of a petulant night resisting the dawn,
    and realized we would not see each other again.
    He’s not much of a hugger, so I didn’t even try.
    “Thanks for the beers,” he said, as the lights went out.
    I stood and watched as he slipped into the darkness.



    1. You so captured the essence of the long journey home, in this post, in so many ways. I saw Bob Dylan last year in concert for the first time… I felt like I was watching history unfold before me… looking for answers to those questions with a sea of humanity…

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