On Seeing James Taylor at the Schottenstein Arena June 2014


James Taylor

We are going to a concert

to see our rock icon perform,

cruising in our comfy car–

not too cool, not too warm.

When we get to the campus venue,

rickshaws tote us from where we park:

fifty-somethings at a concert

swaying in the dark.


Our clothes are sensible and mid-price.

Yes, this crowd is pretty Docker-ed;

We share tales of concerts long ago,

but they’re hazy; we were snockered.

Now we buy a four dollar water

and a seven-fifty beer:

fifty-somethings at a concert

don’t need inebriants to cheer.


The house lights start a-dimmin’,

then the lights come up on stage,

and our icon bounds onto it.

Lord, he really looks his age.

Then:  thick and shiny tresses.

Now: thick and shiny head.

Fifty-somethings at a concert:

Telling tales of Grateful Dead.


And the icon starts to singing

as he dances round the stage,

and his voice is clear and true and strong

though his dad jeans mark his age.

We find candle apps on smart phones

but we’re too middle-aged to dance:

fifty somethings at a concert,

our technology’s advanced!


We holler for the classics.

We are thoughtful through the new.

A woman yells, “I love you!”

The icon says, “I love you, too!”

The theme here is politeness;

There’s no rudeness in this crowd.

Nothing burning; no one barfing;

Older, calmer,–but we’re loud.

We call him back for encores.

The icon’s really touched.

Two is great, but we are tired;

three encores would be too much.

And we pile out to the car lot

and politely let each other out.

Fifty somethings at a concert:

past our bedtimes, there’s no doubt.


We drive on home in comfort

reminiscing of concerts past,

Of jeans too tight, behavior too loose,

and how it all went so fast.

But we love our lives, we’re happy now,

though there’s poignancy, of course.

Five somethings home from concert

have no next-day remorse.