It Doesn’t Matter Anymore – Part 1

There is a line in John Prine’s masterful Hello In There that has always haunted me:

We lost Davy in the Korean War
I still don’t know what for
It doesn’t matter anymore

That’s the way it goes in life. At one point there is something that means so much to us that we can barely breathe when thinking about it. At another point that same thing doesn’t matter anymore. Maybe time really does heal all wounds.

We had an apartment in the city
Me and Loretta liked living there
Well, it’d been years since the kids had grown
A life of their own
Left us alone

John and Linda live in Omaha
And Joe is somewhere on the road
We lost Davy in the Korean war
And I still don’t know what for,
Don’t matter anymore

You know that old trees just grow stronger
And old rivers grow wilder every day
Old people just grow lonesome
Waiting for someone to say, “Hello in there, hello”

Me and Loretta, we don’t talk much more
She sits and stares through the back door screen
And all the news just repeats itself
Like some forgotten dream
That we’ve both seen

Someday I’ll go and call up Rudy
We worked together at the factory
But what could I say if asks “What’s new?”
“Nothing, what’s with you?
Nothing much to do”

So if you’re walking down the street sometime
And spot some hollow ancient eyes
Please don’t just pass ’em by and stare
As if you didn’t care,
Say, “Hello in there, hello”

Published by mikepowernyc

My novel The Zoo was published by Cacoethes Publishing House and my poetry chapbook The New Normal was published by Analog Submission Press. Other poems and short stories have appeared in Subterranean Blue Poetry, The Journal of Microfiction, and Sick Lit Magazine, among others. Other works include a staged reading of my play Digging Up John Barrymore, performed by Dreamcatcher Entertainment, and five albums of original music recorded with my band Late Model Humans.

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