East End Beacon

The Poem: “Six” by Billy Hands

Everybody seemed
so much older than me.
I checked their cards on the counter
as they walked through the front door.
Saw the grey in their beards
heard the click in their knees
the apple in their bonnet
and the hope that meant to please.
Counted on my fingers
smiled and said cheese,
because I was only —
six years younger than you.

It was a milestone once
and miles away
that started as minutes
which morphed into days
and here you are six
like a calendar page
and I was an infant
only yesterday.

The grass was longer,
street music kinda blue,
a butter knife spread,
summer driving simply flew.
A Chevelle with a six pack
sporting baby moons —
and trim rings, competition shifter
and an 8-track
with an equalizer.

It is what it is
based on what it was
and we’re all a little smarter
you could say, “just because.”

I’ve come through the end thicker
the circle in the tube.
You can cut it square,
you can cut it round,
slice it thin
slice it thick
half a dozen —
call it six.


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