for Michal Friedman
We think of lives as being interrupted
But when they end, they end.
There’s nothing more
To them but might-have-beens and fantasy--
Even though, whenever the great trap door
Opens, and the pure and guiltless fall away from this corrupted
Stage, the surviving actors will always pretend
The scene is not a hideous pointless travesty
By pointing out a purpose or design
That comforts and completes a broken line.
Except there is no broken.
The line is the line: the way
It always was and always will be meant--
And those whom Life has sent
To travel with us only stay
At Life’s pleasure, not theirs or ours--
And no matter how many promises are spoken,
Only two will ever be kept:
We will wake when we have slept
Until we are all plucked like flowers.
Except there is no plucking,
Is there? No hand that reaches down from above
To break away the blossom while it still has life.
The truth is, every different way
You can think of this is just another way of ducking
The one thing no one wants to say:
Life does not care.
This is how things are. Somebody’s wife
Can vanish like that, no matter how much love
She and her husband feel, no matter how many plans they share,
And he will be left alone trying to find release from some hidden rhyme
In wordless wailing down through meaningless time.
Except there is no release,
Not even in dreams of delicate golden time machines
To take him back through their shared years
To a moment of peace
Where he can pinpoint where it all went wrong,
So he can say “Don’t do that now!” or “This will end in tears!”
But no one can add a single verse to a finished song
Even though this means
A lifetime of going to bed every night
Wondering what sin
Made you unworthy in God’s sight--
A lifetime of hoping tomorrow you'll wake up from what sadly was
Into a world where emptiness becomes the might-have-been,
And die a little every time it never does--
For even though nothing is broken, there will still be a scar
Because that, too, is the way things always are.
Copyright 2011 Matthew J Wells