All the men I might have been
were gathered in a hall.
I was amazed so large a space
could scarcely hold them all.
As in a sea of mirrors
I saw reflected there
all forms of me me; alike, the same
the lips, the nose, the hair
But not the eyes, I relized
there was some difference there.
Some subtle life experience
had altered every pair.
In some eyes there was happiness,
in others I saw pain
Some faces full, some faces gaunt,
some calm, some lined with strain.
I knew, too, as I looked around
that milling, mirrored sea
that each of them saw might-have beens,
and one of them was me.
Where, I wondered, had each one changed;
had split apart from me
How could so many branches spring
from one genetic tree?
My heart was filled with envy
for some beside me there
I sensed they'd got what I had not.
That was, I felt, unfair.
Yet others made my soul grow chill
to think what they'd become
for each in whom I sensed success
there also was a bum.
The walls were lined with photographs
they stretched out, row on row
Babies, boys and younger ment
they too were me, I know
It didn't have to be explained
not one word need be said
Each of them was also me
and each of them was dead
They had not had the chance to live
to be where I am now.
I wondered why each one had died
and where, and when, and how.
At once the hall was empty
and I alone was there
My might-have-beens had vanished
each to his own place... where?
A voice came out of somewhere,
someone I could not see
"Care not for that which might have been,
but rather what will be."
"To waste your time on might-have-beens
Like wishing on a star
Just do the best with what you have
just be the one you are."
And here I am, alone with me
a stranger to me still.
But knowing that when fate
calls out: "You must", someone inside me will.