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Living on a Prayer

The YMCA I work out at keeps the radio set on the same station every day.  This poem came as a result (Soon to be published on a neato site).


I’m at the Y trying to finish that last pull-up
Ignoring my leaden torso the weight of too many burdens,
As if fulfilling the fullness of the number 10
Will actually make me a fitter and better person,
When Bon Jovi filters through the cost efficient speakers
Over the classic rock station.

It’s as if Jon and his big-haired namesakes
Wrote that song specifically for this moment
With me in mind.

“Whoooaaaahhhh, we’re halfway there. Whooaahh-oh,
Liiiiiiiving on a praa-ayer.
Take my hand and we’ll make it I swear.”
He swears we’ll make it.
And I believe him.

I believe that my thirty-something years on this planet
Has taught me never to underestimate the power of goodwill,
And the inspiration of an 80’s power ballad.

I believe that despite man’s best efforts to thwart himself,
In the end, he gets what he deserves.

Yet I wonder why we intrinsically rely upon music
To get us through difficult times in our lives.
I wonder if musicians listen to their own songs
While they’re working out.
And I wonder when Bon Jovi became classic rock.

My grip loosens. Fingertips numb. Because failing and feelings
Have always been one in the same for me.

But my body pushes on in spite of itself,
Pulling my grinding jaw over the metal bar
Society has set for thirty-somethings like me,
Where childhood mantras in the form of pop music play
Still ringing true, and middle age is just a faded dream away.

“We’ve got to hold on to what we’ve got,
It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not.”
But this is where he is wrong. It does make a difference.
Making it makes all the difference
In the world Jon. 

About Daniel Romo

Author of Apologies in Reverse (FutureCycle Press, 2019), When Kerosene's Involved (Mojave River Press, 2014) and Romancing Gravity (Silver Birch Press, 2013). I'm partial to prose poems. Alliteration. And fragments.

2 responses »

  1. Why thank you. I just wish I could get that damn song from being stuck in my head.

  2. yet again I am inspired by your writing. Analyzing lyrics is something we all do. I know I apply lyrics to my everyday life as well


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