Day in the city

Drove a friend to SF; coasting
over 101, we exchanged
memories of the sixties

she questioning privilege,
demonstrating for ethnic studies
holed up in the I-Hotel until
Hongisto’s minions “escorted” her out
into the flash-bulb popping,
chanting crowd.

Me running away from a too
tradition-bound home
experimenting, exploding
my head, walking and walking
for hours in the small-town
night giddy with stars and new
things I thought were new but
existed before my time, or anyone’s
time, indifferent but gorgeous

I thought she was brave; she thought
me brave; every path more conflicted
more stumbling than one could then
imagine. Nothing noble, it turns
out in either path. Just stuff
young people do when caught
up in social movements, social
experiments, some good
and some bad resulting

well, we’re still trying
to figure that out

After the appt. with the doc
we had lunch, then walked
around the Haight, the store-
keepers mimicking our
vague memories; Hendricks re-
painted on the walls; post-
nouveau lettering on concert
posters; hookas for sale
in the storefronts. Some left-
over characters from the 60s
and 70s panhandling
on the sidewalk, keeping up
the general aesthetic.