A Long Way from Kansas

Somewhere between

first grade

and old age

my youth peeled away

like sunburned skin.

Hands that used to

make forts,

and make out,

shout at me now

for steroid shots.


The soundtrack for life

isn’t BB-19

on a chrome jukebox

in a diner on Tenth.

The jukebox came down.

And so did my chin.

Those tunes blew away

like colored balloons

released from

our playground

before the Cold War.


Maybe I’ll fly a balloon again

soon, and discover

what pasture it splashes

with pink.

It could touch down

in Topeka …


I know I’m a long way

from Kansas

by now.


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