Continents drift and glaciers recede,
species evolve, and people change.
Babies are born, and books written.
Songs and dance and tears fall.
At best I have twice the number of years before
than behind. I have yet to secure my immortality.
No great work preserved forever, held to high regard,
praised though the ages. Nor infamous act by which
to be remembered or judged. My face on no magazine,
fleeting fistful of fame eludes. There is no child,
to twist and turn, to corrupt. No vehicle to carry
my genes and fears to the heat death of the universe.
I have killed no one, published no books,
done nothing of significance.
And there is so little time.
Loved ones die, and there are no excuses or reason.
Cancer and car crash, these have claimed two.
Disease and age another. No tornadoes or floods.
No fire or murder. No random bolt from the sky.
A decided lack of drama.
My accomplishments are few. I live vicariously
through the man I wish I could be. Fun, witty, handsome,
caring, virtuous, and the rest of that list of cliché.
In my head, on a good day, that’s who I am.
More often, reality intrudes. Someday I will
run a marathon, pilot a plane, go horseback riding
or scuba-diving, take my son to the zoo.
But not today.
Today I am happy to write a poem,
mow my lawn, do the dishes, cut my hair,
do laundry, watch bad TV, shower and to bed.
To fill the dull moments with everything
people do to make time go by
until the end of the world.