As I sat on Easter Sunday,
I found a little jelly bean.
I considered many questions:
Where did it come from?
Why was it here?
Was it a sign?
The red mini-bomb of sugar had me wondering:
What was the flavor – strawberry or cherry?
How old was it?
How long had it been there?
I stared and had a vision of eating it.
My mouth watered,
My parotid tweaked,
My teeth hurt.
That little jelly bean on Easter sunday,
Generated so many questions
For such a minuscule thing.
It made me realize how small I was in the universe.
And how much of an impact I have yet to make.
Everywhere he went
He caused a scene
Even at school
He punched the dean
He wore shorts
When they wore jeans
He was dirty
They were clean
It’s no lie
He was obscene
“Eat Crap!” he’d say
See what I mean?
He once dated
The cute prom queen
But he was 30
and she was a teen
There was no way
anyone could intervene
This was the way he was
and his name was Jelly Bean.
He was the tallest,
He was the coolest,
He was you,
He was the first,
There was never anyone like him,
there was never anything like him.
He was my Uncle Sam,
I still weep.
The little man sat cold in the chair
After the chemo drip was attached, the nurse covered him with a fleece blanket.
The blanket screamed SPARTANS!, colored in the familiar green and white.
The man sighed heavily, and resigned himself to watch “The Price is Right”.
During the commercial, he looked up at the IV, which dripped, dripped, dripped in silence.
Again, he sighed.
He closed his eyes.
Behind fluttering eyelids, he saw himself 20 years earlier.
Strong, lithe, healthy.
He was hanging out in a tiki bar in Florida, listening to badass reggae riddims while watching college football on TV.
He could almost taste the Rum Runner, and shivered with the cool memory.
He and his buddies were laughing. Sharing motorcycle stories.
He was the only one left now, and he wondered, opening his eyes again, staring at the plastic bag full of vile chemicals, if he’ll ever get another chance to feel the sand of that warm tiki bar under his feet. Ever again.
It was a long month, and I was finally home.
Don’t get me wrong, I had amazing adventures!
Rolling along Route 66 in Arizona,
Dipping my toes in the Pacific Ocean off Malibu,
Driving through the mountains outside of San Bernardino.
I had rain in New Mexico,
Sunshine in Colorado,
Snow in Utah.
In California I met surfers,
In Nevada I met drifters,
In Texas I met truck drivers.
It was an amazing trip for sure,
Wandering lost for a month in America’s Southwest.
I got as far West as I could get, and after a few years,
I realized that I couldn’t stay.
So I ran
I went as far East as I could go.
I married and settled down.
But after the accident, I was running again.
South, south, south.
I played shuffleboard with old friends, canasta, too.
But I couldn’t stop fidgeting,
So I took off North.
It’s easy to run away,
But you never outrun your demons and habits.
You can try to go home again,
But it’s never really home.