38 Years Old

twelve men broke loose in seventy-three
from Millhaven maximum security
twelve pictures lined up, across the front page
seems the Mounties had a summertime war to wage
the chief told the people they had nothing to fear
said, "the last thing they wanna do is hang around here"
they mostly came from towns with long french names
but one of the dozen was a hometown shame

same pattern on the table
same clock on the wall
been one seat empty, eighteen years in all
freezing slow time, away from the world
he’s 38 years old, never kissed a girl

we were sitting around the table, heard the telephone ring
father said he’d tell em if he saw anything
heard the tap on my window in the middle of the night
held back the curtain for my older brother Mike

see my sister got raped, so a man got killed
local boy went to prison, man’s buried on the hill
folks went back to normal when they closed the case
but they still stare at their shoes when they pass our place

my mother cried, "the horror has finally ceased!"
he whispered, "yeah, for the time being at least"
over her shoulder, on the squad car megaphone
said, "let’s go Michael, son, we’re taking you home."

Posted in The Tragically Hip.