This was written for dVerse. Many thanks to Anmol for giving us this thought-provoking prompt of “portals.”
I was nearing sleep when the thought wandered like a parasite into my brain, preventing slumber. Memories of that Tuesday surfaced. “Let’s get coffee on Thursday,” you’d said. Two years earlier, I would have swooned suggested earlier, (now!) but you’d left for Lebanon taken my then unbroken heart with you, left me behind. I’d moved on. Without you. As I thought you had done. Believed you did. Hurt because I thought you were my one. 30 years later, I’m re-examining that moment, magnifying it with gathered wisdom, wondering if you’d been more vulnerable to me than I knew, could expect, given the circumstances. Was my casual response, a laugh, “Thursday’s Thanksgiving” reason to dive from a bridge? If I had a portal, a way to turn back time, see you again, actually communicate without pretense, youth, all of the packaging would I, could I, have saved you? And what would I/you be now? end
10 thoughts on “In Retrospect”
That poem didn’t go where I was expecting at all.
That use of such tight particulars to take us to somewhere so powerful and so universal. This is very powerful. That last line has such impact. I am blown away.
Thank you so much, Sarah! 🙂
I like your description of the examining the past as “magnifying it with gathered wisdom”.
Many thanks, Frank! 🙂
Never expected the end. The use of words in your poem is brilliant. 🙂
Oh, a time portal certainly provides us the opportunity to see things and events in retrospect. This is beautiful in its reflection, wonderment, and a form of grief. That last line is so well done. 🙂
Retrospect takes us to every portal, but indulging in “what if” can be a painful experience! An evocative write.
Thanks, Beverly. You’re right. “What if” is never a good idea unless you’re fathoming out the future…which also takes luck.
To be able to change a moment like that… there are those lifechanging moment (maybe) where life divides into separate trajectories… Like that film Sliding Doors.
Fate? Does fate exist? Thanks, Bjorn.