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But It Was So Many Years Ago…
Author: Shiloh

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1967 was an interesting time,
but I don’t really remember it all.
Oh, I was there, all right,
and the ending
was as bad as you might think.
I was just back from Vietnam,
and I was busy
learning how old friends can screw you over.
And I was busy trying to be everything to everyone,
trying to match myself up to their standards,
and thinking that I had done a pretty good job of it.
But I was only fooling myself, I finally learned,
and I took the last train out of town
a couple nights later, from here to there.
We turned left in Chicago,
followed the Big Muddy
down to just a few miles south of Arkansas,
and then I got on an old grey dog
and when I got back home
there wasn’t much waiting for me.
Yeah, I had left a lot of pain back behind me,
and hoped that I would lose it
and the memories of it,
but no matter how I tried,
I learned that it don’t work that way.
Even today, with all that happened
so many years ago,
it still burns,
and the burns have never healed right.
And they never will.
I ain’t supposed to remember,
but I don’t ever want to forget, either.
If I forget, then it will all have been
for nothing.
And that ain’t how it was.
And even today,
after all that time,
it was still the most important bit of learning
I ever had.
I learned that you can’t always trust
those that you used to trust,
and there are things that just don’t make sense
no matter how you try to look at it.
You can’t fix things right
by trying to fix things right,
‘cause you’re usually pretty wrong
before you start.
So today,
after all those many years ago,
I still try to get over things
that I’ll never get over,
and I know that I don’t ever want to.
If I did, it would waste the value
of that bit of life’s lessons,
and I can’t have that happen.
Any other old fool would shut it up,
shut it down,
and actively work on removing those memories.
I guess maybe I’m just not much like other old fools,
‘cause I can’t do that….
I just can’t.
Even though it all happened
back so many years ago.

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