What Might Have Been . . . THEN

 

goldencompass3

 

What Might Have Been . . . THEN

Did I ever kiss you
in those halcyon days of old?
did I ever hold you
in my arms
whisper
to your ear?
or say
I want you so?

It didn’t happen
then
did it?
It could have
but it didn’t
such a wasted moment
such a forfeited life

What I know now,
but didn’t
then
you were there
waiting for me
seeking a glimpse
of recognition
or even a nod
 to your very existence

What I feel now
was not an option
It was outside my ken
then
barely a glance away
no more than a word away
but a whole world away
from mine
or so I thought
thoughtlessly

I could have taken
that other path
the road not taken
into that parallel world
that alternative reality
the sliding door
into another future
but
I chose differently
unconsciously
I didn’t know
didn’t even consider

that there might be
that there was
an alternative
then

But In my ignorance
in my indifference
you left and
I demurred

For you
then
I know now
there was a pain
a hurt un-mended
unintended

So I departed
to a separate future
itself now discarded
this time
for you

So long ago
nothing
then
now
is everything

Oh if I had spoken
then
broken that ice
 to find that different future
 grasped at chance
and fused we two together
embarked
 on life’s unwavering path
with hope
that all that came to pass
would prove to be
life’s key
its answer to failure

But would that alternative
that re-positioned love
have lasted long
and still been fresh
and sunny
after a lifetime
together

Or would it
then
would it have palled
just been repeated
on another plane
and left us
where we are now
cold
dispassionate
and turning to another
for succour

Or
perhaps
are both lives
being lived right now
co-existing in their own space
along with all those other choices
 I did not make?

Uncertain
amidst uncertainty
there is a certainty

That
time pleases no one
history wins
and history is the truth
It has to be the truth
for us

when we ourselves
have lived it
however many histories there are

When we have loved
not loved
then
re-discovered love
we must
somewhere
have experienced
the truth
a life

which we can take
shared

Into the future

Perhaps this is it
now
so much better than
what happened

… Then

  #      #      #

But
I believe
at the time of their making
our choices
were the right ones
only later
in another life
did they become
 the wrong ones

Nothing is pre-ordained
that cannot be
circumvented
neither is anything
unequivocal
or absolute

So many possibilities
so many doors
to choose from
countless ‘what ifs’

Perhaps the order
in which we choose
matters not

Only the life
that is being lived now

Or … THEN

 #      #      #

parallel-people


NOTES:
The lead-in illustration is by George Boyce  (geebee2007 / flickr.com)  is for Philip Pullman’s book ‘The Golden Compass’, the first of the ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy, currently being prepared for filming by BBC TV.  The trilogy follows the story of two children, Lyra and Will, as they wander through a series of parallel universes.
Author’s note: I am aware that ‘Alternate Reality’ seems to be used more often than ‘Alternative Reality’, which I nevertheless think is logically the more correct way of describing this concept.

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