The Years Could've been kinder

But how can one complain
Considering an endless attraction to alcohol
That started one August night in a college bar
Across from Wake Forest University
When I entered at sixteen without question

And contributed to an addiction I inherited
From two loving but problem drinker parents
Who were too intoxicated a majority of my youth
To properly provide boundaries essential
For a normal and stable upbringing

Yeah the years could've been kinder
But what choice did they have when
All through my twenties I insisted on
Closing every bar and spending every dollar
On some make-up queen who always left
Before the alarm clock sounded

And Grandpa warned me
To stay away from construction
But I became a bricklayer
When the songwriting dream went south
And to make matters worst I moved to Florida
Where if it ain't a hundred and ten it's raining
And the humidity, well we won't even go there

Yeah the years could've been kinder
But they weren't and fifty is approaching
Like a freight train with no station in sight
But bitching that life is not it used to be and will never
Be again is something one has to accept

So when I look in the mirror
I can't blame God or any of my ex-wives
Or Florida or Wake Forest or bricklaying
Because the responsible party is staring at me
Through blood-red eyes offering excuses
Which have all been used before.

Over the Wall

The sober minded
Is more likely
To be driven insane
By day to day
Due to their acceptance
Of mental incarceration
The dreamer seeks parole
On a regular basis
And remains
A prisoner
Only if
His imagination

Jason Kelly Richards was born in Kentucky in a classic year for Chevolets,
raised in North Carolina during the best decade of music and is currently
planning his escape from Florida because the pay sucks and the humidity
is absurd. His work has appeared in Pearl, The Chiron Review and others
including The Ever-Dancing Muse plus online at ThunderSandwich, Red Booth
Review, AntiMuse, PoetsCanvas, 63Channels, Miller's Pond and forthcoming
at The Indite Circle.

2006 Underground Voices