David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
21 Today

March 29, 2020

For Lincoln, while for me, a reprise to Give Me The Monster.


You're 21 today

And I wish there was a way

I could salvage this day.

There's no parade, no public display,

No singing waiters, no cake.

The world's shut down

Right when I can buy you a round.


It seems the story since your birth,

Within a month gunfire in Colorado burst,

And nowhere left on earth

Did human life seem to have any worth

With logical responses a dearth.

School hallways on shut down

And barely a peep on the playgrounds.


So I suppose it should be no surprise

That you were only two when Mom and I

Raced under silent skies,

Fighting back our cries

To take you from caregivers' side.

The world shut down

Leaving us alive in a ghost town.


I moved you twice

And you paid a price,

Assholes a-plenty, absence of anything nice,

Parents no better than lice,

Like maggots hiding in the rice.

The weight went up as you shut down,

Through the pain you still shed the pounds.


Even when life seemed a cruise,

You came home to the heart-breaking news

Your grandparents we did lose,

The odorless way we get consumed

By the deepest of blues.

Even with a house shut down,

You sought refuge in word and sound.


I tried to leave you too soon,

Heart in failure, body in swoon.

As I lay in that fucking hospital room,

You refused to envision a tomb

Or flowers across a box strewn.

How could I completely shut down

When you still needed me around?


So you're 21 today and all I see

Is a future as uncertain as can be,

And I wonder what will be your legacy?

All I can say is that especially this week,

As I listen to Dylan, listen to me,

Take what you can from Morrissey,

Frame your world view as you need

From The Clash, The Oils, Rage Against the Machine.

Rely on Tanya's emotional intimacy,

Or the discordance of the Boo Radleys,

Count on the next amazing James CD.

Music is the form that sets us all free

By linking our hurt with our beauty.