too late?

10/07/2022 3 By BuddyCushman

I wrote this poem yesterday (Thursday) morning and shared/spoke it at the open mic last night. Driving home in the dark it felt worthy to claim a space in the Blog today:

Too Late

Sometimes I tell myself, it’s too late. I’m too old.  It’s too late to start a rock band.  It’s too late to write the greatest novel ever.  It’s too late to fall desperately in love – again.  It’s too late to run a marathon.  It’s too late to visit Scotland.  It’s too late to have more kids, and be a better dad.  It’s too late to live in New Orleans. It’s too late to go on a hunger strike.  It’s too late to learn how to do the Watusi.  It’s too late to start the Laura Nyro Fan Club,  like it’s too late to become friends with Brian Wilson. 

I tell myself it’s too late to learn to cook meatloaf.  It’s too late to really “get” meditation.  It’s too late to own a cow.  Or a Corvette.  Or Doc Martins. 

And if you’re waiting for the happy ending, me skipping down the street, wearing headphones,  listening to Eminem tell me  you can do anything you set your mind to do – well –  maybe that’s how they do it in Detroit.

I can’t play guitar for shit.  I don’t have a passport.  Maybe we only get one turn at an endless love.   And then my cousin Ginny runs into my head and yells,  “Yo, shit for brains, lose the morbidity, will ya.  That pier 100 yards up the street.  That ocean.  That sunset.  It’s not too late for that.  Every time a cat chases you down the sidewalk  to rub up against your aging legs.  With nothing but love.  How about that, prince of self-pity.  Is it too late to order a chocolate shake at Hodad’s?  Is it too late to scrounge up five bucks?” 

And then Ginny splits.  And there I am sitting in my room,  thinking it’s probably too late to learn to surf.  When my phone rings, four small faces on the screen,  a chorus of “We love you, grandad.”  And I wonder why’d they call?  And they answer,  “Just because.”