My old man said "Be careful, son",
And it's the last thing he ever told his boy,
Until I came back a crippled old man with
A mummy in my chest where a heart used to beat.

It was a wet metronome,
But now I keep time with a rustle
Like a crumpled newspaper
Or a spent party favor,

I let it all out in the dust and the sand
That soak up your blood and tears and blame,
Sure you can wax a big bad guy, a small fry,
An otherwise nice guy,
But the bodies go back into that dirt all the same,
Shrouds cropped, Breath stopped,
And you drag what's left of your own back home.

You tell your father you were careful,
You tell him you knew better,
You tell him the same as you tell them all,
Yes, no, maybe so, I came home, is all.

You lose a lot of friends
Just like every old song says,
Firefights and city lights
And suicide and pills,

You lose 'em to themselves,
To their own kinda monsters and shame,
To the things they ought've known
and outgrown,
To the things they do to themselves.

There come times when this new old man
Looks back at the warnings of another,
"Be careful, son," he said,
And knew it was the best he had,

He knew the best he could do was let me
See the things he closed his doors to,
Do the things he never had to and
Hope I had the sense to quit while I was ahead,
Like he did,
And I didn't.

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