Haight-Ashbury: August 9, 1995

On the Death of Jerry Garcia

I walk with women spinning in the street,
Between two psychedelic minivans
Gridlocked by the color-drenched bereaved.
A broker’s luminescent tie commands
Respect, and, farther on, I hear some lines
From “Alabama Getaway” — two bums,
Both tenors, beg for change while singing songs,
Your children left behind.
Our Jerry’s gone.  The mourning City hums,
“We Will Get By.”  I wonder for how long.

Soon, standing on the mythic corner, near
Where Ben and Jerry’s sells a flavor named
For you, where now the flower children’s fears
Are met, I realize the awful shame
Your death discloses.  Where are days when proud
Mad voices sang, before the poets started
Displaying all their generation’s howls
At auction, selling out?
A billboard shades the corner turning dark,
Where Nike’s “revolution” markets doubt.