Richard Shindell

State of the Union

from Not Far Now

That nice easy mark at the edge of the park
Was a slam dunk if ever I saw one
I don't know what happened, I just let it go by
I guess maybe out of respect

This old town is my home, and I'm not so far gone
That I don't feel like anyone else
And it didn't seem right to add to the wrong
I decided to get me some help

If not now then when? I was asking myself,
Over and over again
Make it right, get free, get rid of the junk
I've heard it can happen that way

I went down to the clinic on a hundred and tenth
And got on the methadone program
I waited on line every morning at nine
For my little white cup, my reprieve

It was going OK, I was feeling alright
I even got back with my daughter
I lost a few friends, who were anything but
And just took it one day at time

If not now then when, I kept asking myself
Over and over again
Make it right, get free, get rid of the junk
They say it can happen that way

I can't say for sure how it all fell apart
One thing just led to another
Next thing I knew I had stolen a car
I was flying straight up to the Bronx

Must've lost the old touch, I blew through a toll
They caught me just outside of Rye
Sporting all that remained of my new-found resolve
A shirt that said NYPD

Some shred of my soul could almost believe
That the Lord sent those cruisers for me
Make it right, get free, get rid of the junk
But it don't always happen that way

At the half-way house we're all sitting around
Watching the State of the Union
And I'm rolling that stone right back up the hill
Watching out for the shit coming down

The President's up there grining that grin
Thinking he's some kind of John Wayne
We're howling and jeering all his talk about shooting
And drilling our way out of this

If not now then when, we're all asking ourselves
Over and over again
Make it right? Get free? Get rid of the junk?
But it don't always happen that way

updated: 8 years ago