03 June 2013
What Became Of What Never Was
In my last post of the second year of this blog (and the last day in the year of my surgery), I included a poem. After I posted it, I had a feeling I would change it.
When you think about it, three years (actually, almost three-and-a-half) isn’t really a lot of time in a poem’s life. Horace recommended that a poem should be set aside for nine years after it was written. If, after that time, the poem looks as if it’s transcended whatever the poet felt, thought or experienced at the time he or she wrote it, then it’s ready to see the light of day, according to Horace.
Now, he might not think the poem I mentioned would pass the test. However, I’ve revised it a bit, so I’m going to post it here:
The End of What Never Was
(To My Parents)
I never could have been the boy
Who climbed trees and played football
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.
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.