These woods are quiet now,
holding only memories of youth.
We searched for Liberty Bells,
tested our knuckles on redwoods,
tried our stomachs with granddad’s
Irish whiskey until we were singing,
smitten and sick, when days were golden
and nights were long and longed for.
“Nothing lasts forever,”
said once some drunk old chap,
strong and august, and we listened.
Who could blame us? What values
aren’t drawn from the slumped
broken man outside the pub
who sits in the gutter and tells you
how things never get better?