Twenty years
Can be a lifetime
When you’re as young as

I’m fifty now
And alone
And on parole
And branded for the rest of my days.

But still sometimes
I find the time
To visit the place where it all began
And sit and smoke a cigarette
With a friend I once had –
With a friend I still have –
Who I still buy whiskey for
Every year on her birthday.

And when she asked me
What I did with that gun
I looked up
At a blank sky
Where stars no longer shone for me
And said
That that was a problem
I had taken care of.