As we sat beside the spring and viewed it as metaphor,
For the start of our adult lives together or apart,
With big questions ahead which we dare not answer truthfully,
Because the conditions for truth were unfavourable…
I stroked you long blond hair and kissed your eyelids,
whispering there there, everything will be fine…
Although I knew the palliative to be untrue,
I had not the gumption to call a halt to the festivities,
The wedding banns already read and feast prepared,
And I had to leave your side for another…
one might ask how did this come to pass?
In truth, out of pity for one, and because the other would play along…
I joked that she could be my concubine …
But she justly cried. Not so funny then…
You know I love you, the truth came out,
But to cancel would mean they lose so much money.
I could not in truth do that,
So I chose to live a lie.
And I left my Helen,
though in truth she was Sue,
Alone beside that spring,
dreaming of that long hot summer,
And I faced forward to 30 years of winter…
These battles avoided were ones I should have
But I was young and stupid,
and we were young and stupid,
And life stretched out before us,
Like an opening shot of a western,
Panoramic in scope and size.
We cannot live by what might have been,
We have to carry our mistakes like a curse,
And become crippled by regret.
That is the nature of old-age.
DALE M 2021