Gathering no Moss
by Michelle Hartman

Acid purple, neon green,
razor-headed youths
stare bewildered, Winnabegos,
old Cadillacs
fill music store parking lot,
walkers, canes portable
oxygen tanks surround the
ticket outlet in two chains,
still growing

The Stones are coming to town.

Old hip flasks retrieved, filled
with Metamucil, stores sell-out
of hearing aid batteries,
physical therapy intensifies.

The Stones are coming to town.

Musings over the produce counter,
who will open for them?
Janis Joplin? No she’s dead!
How about Dylan?
No, he had by-pass surgery last month

They rush through the 4:30 sitting at
Denny’s, cover themselves in Ben Gay,
pull out recently recovered Bic lighters,
wrap belly bags around San-A-Belt pants.
Between acts they’ll rush the bathrooms
diuretic’s on overtime, they’ll free base
ibuprofen, old joints stove up from long
spells in small chairs.

Their children disapprove,
doctors shake their heads,
they’ll be irregular for days
from greasy stadium food,
but it will all be worth it, because.

The Stones are in town.

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