In Retrospect

This was written for dVerse. Many thanks to Anmol for giving us this thought-provoking prompt of “portals.”

Photo by Crawford Ifland on Unsplash

In Retrospect

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?


10 thoughts on “In Retrospect

  1. Oh.
    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.

  2. 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. 🙂

  3. Retrospect takes us to every portal, but indulging in “what if” can be a painful experience! An evocative write.

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