Monday, November 28, 2011

Good Times

a memo to joe pa, and me:
never trust the good times.

where should we keep this memo, Joe?
frame it and hang it on the wall?
no, this isn't something we earned, this is something we ought to have known

there are no exceptions to this rule, and it strikes the rich and the poor
the learned and unlearned
the righteous and sinner

one day you're promoted and that clicking noise in the car is just a loose wire
the next, your sister is killed by a drunk driver and the IRS wants to chat
the best day of your life is followed by a new pain in the morning
and chemo in three months
while in between, your eyes glaze over like a cat out of lives

this is not to say we shouldn't find joy where moments grant them
or skip the birthday party for uncle ned
this is to say we should all the more

but cast a wary glance over the shoulder, every now and again.
squint and peer down that dark alley
study your lovers eyes, take note of the pauses

relish that 25 cent ice cream cone, and get the sprinkles
read the box score on monday and pocket the bet
grab that snooze in the beat up recliner

but keep the black shoes polished and handy
stash some coin in a secret spot
get the long term disability insurance, just in case
and hug your kids every chance you get

cuz damn! ain't the good times good!
the beer cold, the steak tender
the cherries in a row
and that kiss like sugar on the melon

but don't trust it joe
no! no! no!
don't bank it as gold
cuz sure as that sun will come around again
know a storm brews somewhere
your storm joe
my storm joe
and destruction is indiscreet

a hearty cheer then from the ale bench
a raise of the glass and a hey ho!
as we drink to the rising sun
for this is right to do
but with an eye to the door
and a hand on the scabbard
just in case our chips run out
and the tax man cometh

(joe pa is joe paterno. the winningest coach in american college football. He has been regarded as nearly a God to many for decades. then, within a two week period, he was disgraced, fired, mocked and found out he has cancer. That's how fast and furious it can hit.)