Not To Bother by David J. Thompson

Dylan’s Mr. Tambourine Man came on
the car radio. He turned up the volume,
said, This is a perfect song, isn’t it?
When she didn’t respond, he asked her
what the hell she was so pissed about.
Pissed? She practically screamed.
We go to a party with my friends
and you sit moping on the couch
by yourself all night talking to their dog
and you want to know why I’m pissed?
He hesitated, started to scratch his head,
said softly, I told you I didn’t want to go
in the first place. All you guys ever do
is talk about work and how you hate
your jobs and your stupid ass bosses
and I never know what to say. She told him
that was all bullshit. That he didn’t even try.

Dylan was still singing about disappearing
through the smoke rings of his mind
when he hit the blinker, turned into
a gas station a few blocks from their place.
Why are we stopping here? she asked wearily.
He told her he needed a 6-pack, asked
if he should leave it running. She said
not to bother. As he walked away he realized
he was singing softly to himself about dancing
beneath the diamond sky with one hand
waving free,  but when he looked up
at the big night sky, all he saw was darkness.

David J. Thompson
David J. Thompson lists John Prine, John Sayles, and Frank O’Hara among his list of heroes. He enjoys The Simpsons, and he loves Spain and the American West. Please visit his photo website at

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