31 December 2009

A Poem: The End Of What Never Was

OK. So I said my previous post would probably be my last. The operative word was "probably."

Anyway...I thought this might be a good time to share a poem I wrote in September. In one of my entries that month, I mentioned that I was working on this poem. I'm still not sure that it's done. Jean Valentine, a wonderful poet and one of my teachers, once said that we never finish a poem, we only abandon it.

Well, if that's the case, I'll abandon it to you, dear reader:

The End Of What Never Was

I never could have been the boy
Who climbed trees and played football

While you waited for my letters of acceptance.
I only could have been that student

Who struggled with extra science classes
For a higher score on the SAT math

After I got the Academy's letter of rejection.
Even they knew I couldn't be that son

Like the one in the photo: the one
whose father stood proud, whose mother

Pinned stars and bars to his dress grays.
No, I never could have been a soldier

And I never could have been a sailor.
That young girl standing on the bridge

Exchanging vows under crossed swords
She could not have known she would never be

My wife, the mother of your grandchildren.
I never could have given her anything except

Your name, and a name that was never mine.
After that, I could only lie to her again.

No, I never could have been her man
I never could have even been her ally

Or on anyone's side, not even as a spy.
She will never see me; she has never seen this day

The way you never could have foreseen today.
None of us ever could have known

I never could have been your son.

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