There was a man.
There always is a man.
Let’s say this man was a hippie
in the sixties and grew a beard, a blond
beard and hung out in Central Park
with his guitar and his lyrics. Let’s say
he took too many drugs, drank too much
bourbon, slept with too many women.
Let’s say it is today and you are
in your garden and are clipping back
the bushes and pulling out weeds
and this man comes to mind
whom you met twenty years
after he gave up New York and moved South.
You met him after he lost his family
because he drank too much bourbon
and slept with too many women who would
creep into his thoughts as he was making love
to his wife and although he was faithful to his wife,
she could feel Yoko Ono tearing them apart
because she thought they were tight like the Beatles.
You meet him at work and invite him over
to your house and he brings his guitar and tells you
a story about that one time in New York
his girlfriend was at a bar and John Lennon
walks in and takes a seat with Yoko or that
other woman he dated between Yoko.
Let’s say that our man stayed at home
that evening because he had a cold,
or the flu, or was having a nervous breakdown.
Let’s say his girlfriend decides not to call
him from a phone booth just down by the corner
to tell him to get his ass over to the bar
because John Lennon was there.
John Lennon was there.
Let’s say this was the catalyst of his life.
The worst thing a woman could have done,
worst than divorcing him, worst than dying on
him like his mother did.
Let’s say that this man comes to mind
while you are yanking out a tough root
and out of the corner of a dark
place you try never to visit you remember this
man died last year on John Lennon’s birthday.