Pasts That Never Were
Memories of a past I dreamt I had
Float through foggy sights.
Twinkling city lights
Paint the pictures of a home
I never lived in.
Snowy winters trudging through city streets
I moved away from before I could make them mine.
Soft murmurs of what could have been
If only things went differently,
Waft on sound-waves reaching my mind.
Wanderings of wondering greet me in the morning,
Peeling back the layers revealing
Shards of lives ended before beginning
As choices were made.
Breaking dawn only wakes those who were sleeping,
All the rest bear witness to its brilliance,
While we imagine how it looks from the other side.
Light of day shows card catalogs of lives
Waiting to be picked,
Pasts discarded, replaced with new ones,
Futures shifted and reshaped of shredded cards.
Hushed voices of those unlived lives,
Yearn for a place, a microphone to spread their words.
Instead snow covered streets
Hold the trackless wandering of the ghosts
Of all my pasts and futures that won’t be lived,
Mixing together on their lonely road.
Reaching chilly hands, with icy fingers
To a tired mind,
Giving glimpses of possibilities never possible.
I walk these country roads,
Placing opaque images of city streets
With all their ghosts
On top of trees, just to see what happens.
Bird calls, and falling leaves wipe away
A past that wasn’t mine and a future not quite ready.
Leaving me with only all that was
Only all that will be
Only all that is.
So frequently we become caught up in our story, in the past, in the future. Wondering what would be if the past had been different, or wishing things had been different. These things can occupy so much of our thoughts. Especially in times when things aren’t going the way we hoped, planned or wanted. Then again sometimes these thoughts are just inspired by walking down a road and wondering what could have been. This poem is a journey of my own with the past. How I was drawn to these thoughts while walking, but eventually coming back to the present realizing that thinking and wishing will never change the past and that now is all we ever really have. It’s important to recognize the value in the past, in history, but to remember that the present moment is where life happens. What do you think?