Something For Gregg

I was somewhere deep in Kansas,

on a Triumph 69’


When your song came on the jukebox,

and hit me from behind


I was headed for a bad place,

and cared for nothing much


When I heard the song ‘Melissa,’

my heart and soul were struck


Entranced, your lyrics captured me,
like nothing had before


When you sang about ‘The Gypsy,’

I headed for the door


But something made me turn around,

and grab another dime


Ten more times in that diner’s booth,

still lost within your rhyme


Now back inside the bus station,

and sleeping on the bench


I scratch your words into the wood,

last dollar gone and spent


My bike outside against the wall,

the kickstand now long gone


And out of gas, my hopes have dashed,

that unrelenting song


Waking up at ten unsettled,

across the street I pushed


The sign said Triumph-BSA,

the owner Mister Cush


He asked, “What’s with your motor,”

I said “nothing—out of gas,


“But worse I’m out of money,

can I sell the bike for cash


“Would you please just buy my Triumph,

I know it’s old and worn


“It got me here through seven states,

runs great both cold and warm”


“I’ll pay three hundred on the spot,

on that can we agree?”


We walked back up inside his shop,

three bills he handed me


I thought about a bus ride home,

my thumb looked more in line


Facing East on old route #50,

my heart in deep decline


The first big rig that came along,

was bound for York Pa.


The driver said “If you like dogs,

I’ll take you on your way”


In York I caught a fast ride out,

two ‘dodgers’ going North


And got back home with hat in hand,

your song to guide me forth


Two years then passed, I met my wife,

four more and our first child


And we named her ‘Sweet Melissa,’

her dad back from the wilds


Now forty years have come and gone,

my beard and hair both gray


I owe you Gregg, and always will,

your song, her name—that day


(Villanova Pennsylvania: March, 2017)


For Gregg Allman

I Sent This To Gregg In March 2016. It’s on His Website.

We Spent TwoDays Together In Richmond Va. In A

Blizzard In 1982.


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