My voice changed.
That fact defined the year which brought me
to the precipice of adulthood.
Unsure of foot and teetering
on the weak knees of youthful thought.
All of thirteen, a bit green
and ignorant to a changing world.
I found myself transforming into
someone I barely knew, realizing
I would find myself soon enough
as long as I tuned in, turned on
and dropped out of the norms of a
distilled upbringing, wringing my hands
at authority and standing up to the “man”,
still yielding to my mother to take out the trash.
Short on cash and stature, and the nature
of the beast was the least of my concerns.
The females in my realm of thought
made funny things happen to me.
My hands shook, my stomach churned,
and I learned that they were the cause
of my voice fracturing every time they came near.
I had a fear of the war lasting forever,
and having to learn to speak Vietnamese
or Canadian, knowing I’d look bad in fatigues.
Why is it we could put men on the moon,
but couldn’t keep guys like John
and Martin and Bobby safe from hatred.
Isn’t anything sacred anymore? Did we even know the score?
But one thing always delivered the goods. Music.
Music did it for me. I know that now.
We were lighting fires for Morrison,
while Hendrix did fine all by himself.
Mick was gathering no moss, and the price
of freedom was very high, but worth every cent.
And if anyone would tell me that in a year the Beatles
would argue and break up over an avant-garde Ono,
I would tell them the were crazy. I stopped being lazy
in ’69, ever since I found this thing called “muse”,
and how expressing it, gave me and those around me
joy, power, peace; a good release in a lyrical sense
under the false pretense of ever really being
in love yet above all else, music and words lived in me
(but I was just too ignorant to get that clue).
Besides, my voice changed.
Presented at WE WRITE POEMS – Prompt #166 – What’s it like to be your age?