It’s been so long since I’ve posted here, but this is a poem I’ve been revising after some much appreciated feedback from my writer’s group…
I’ve never really wished I could change the past until now.
Not my own, but someone else’s.
I wish I could will them to have chosen differently,
At least, in one particular decision.
Rarely does one decision change a person’s whole course in life,
But this one did.
If I could change another’s past,
I wouldn’t do it with the snap of my fingers.
Instead, I’d go back and show them
Where that one decision would lead.
How their life wouldn’t go the way they had dreamed –
But that it could…If they made one change.
The knowledge of the future,
What a weighty thing that would be –
A force to push us
Onto the path that is best,
Without our weighty, and flighty,
But then, I think,
What if I
Set them in a new direction-
One that didn’t lead to me?
What if the very reason I see them as so
Compatible, so attractive,
Was because that decision led them
To become the person they are today?
That the one, all-important decision,
Led to a second and a third and a twentieth,
Shaping their sense of humor, their ambition,
humility, and wisdom;
Without that choice, they, as they are right now,
And so, I find I’m horrified to think
That if one change had happened,
Another life wouldn’t be here –
And that, a tragedy.
My selfishness apparent to me now is
New and unrecognizable, but terrifying,
This is why,
We can’t play God –
Why time must stand in a rigid line before us.
And I am trying to find my balance,
on my timeline
Drawn taught with the tension between withdrawing and becoming
between rests and sixteenths.
On that linear line of time,
Comes dissonance, syncopation,
Not fluidity and simple harmony –
The music of the spheres sounds more like Jazz than Classical.
Out of chaos comes order and beauty –
Something different, but good.
Something born out of suffering, but which,
In its more familiar form,
Maybe each of our bad decisions
Adhere to the first law of thermodynamics,
And rather than losing mass,
Transforms into something new –
An identity now unrecognizable to
Ourselves and others,
Like the power of sunlight
That metamorphosizes a
Small, insignificant, earthbound seed
Into a colossal, shade-giving tree…
And by this, we know grace.