I have a poor imagination (a poem)

Working from a prompt: ‘Write a fictional version of your life where you made a different choice at a pivotal moment. What is your life like today after you made this past decision?’

Think about what might have been, or what might be, compared to what is. Play the conversations, run the scenarios, pretend to see something…

I have a poor imagination—
is it from disuse or disillusion?

I don’t know

I knew at the moment
that it was one of those moments

I hesitated—
but was compelled nonetheless

Curiosity and nostalgia
are powerful intoxicants

And what’s that line?
‘Imagination is a powerful deceiver’

So this happened
and that happened
and then that happened
and after a few more rounds of that
well, here I am

But it’s hard to picture it happening
any other way

What if I had ignored the message
and clicked ‘delete’ without reading?

I would have gone on my Saturday afternoon walk
and then what?

An infinity of Sundays
morphing into weekdays and workdays
and one day after the next
while the world unfolds and unravels all around me
the way it likes to do

I might have seen her on the periphery
where she liked to stay
until the next quadrennial
and a lonely afternoon
before disappearing again

I don’t believe in ghosts or demons
but I do have those who linger
in the back of my mind
emerging from time to time
to remind me without so much as a word

And dreams are contrary by nature—
what they want and I want are different things
and they’re not shy about letting me know

Then again, I am always present in the moment

(2 November 2021)


Wishes sometimes have consequences is available to order from your favorite local bookstore.

IndieBound search: https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=wishes+sometimes+have+consequences

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