I understood I would never marry,
buy a house, have kids,
mow the lawn on Saturday,
wash cars, clean the pool.
I had an atypical plan,
thinking back, for my life:
a wanderer, adventurer or pilgrim
without want of firm roots.
Each destination a chance happening,
an introduction to the unexamined.
Sidewalks, cafes, alleyways, and life
being lived, journaled for remembrance.
The North Country, New York;
Watertown, Carthage, Clayton and Ogdensburg,
strolling their streets dripping
history and memoirs never told.
Lassoing thoughts from wild conversation
with caffeinated coffee shop poets,
struggling with Calvinistic thought streams
and priests in moments of doubt.
My theories in marble.
Gently chiseled with each interaction,
chipped, thoughts evolve
leaving inference among spilt beans.
All memories and dreams mingle.
l hold them gently.
As midnight creeps I’m untethered,
drifting from the shoal once more.
Suddenly I sense wonder:
The Appalachian Trail at Katahdin,
Continental divide at Loveland Pass,
Mount Hood from Pacific Crest.
Have you ever witnessed
views of Mojave’s Kelso Dunes?
Felt the Great Basin’s rainshadow chill,
or contemplated Joshua Trees in prayer?
Often the life of could have been
is more lucid than I am,
pulling obstinate weeds.
Shallow breath’d and gazing… scanning
my cut grass, clear pool,
a loving wife, adoring children,
to clarity of thought.
I would have… could have
been that man, that other life,
a Walter Mitty dreaming
a life; mine.
Thinking back on if I'd, wish I'd and wondering