The tragedy of life is that you never
Live to see how the end of your own story
Takes ev’ry single path leading wherever
And builds a highway to failure or glory.
It’s like a play—your life begins, and could
Go anywhere; but when it ends, a chart
Is drawn that makes, by weighing bad with good,
The finish a red flag that stains the start.
It’s always easier to classify
A life that’s ended—it’s a bordered land,
A state whose boundaries will be drawn by
Hemingway’s shotgun or Custer’s Last Stand—
Till where you exit is the place you enter,
And how it ends becomes your life’s dead center.
Copyright 2016 Matthew J Wells