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What If...?

What if I could talk to my young self,

In gentle tones where safety lies,

Separated the current me from the little boy,

Held his hand while I searched his eyes?

Looked at him the way I would look at the child,

The being that I saw crying in the street

With empathy and protectiveness for one in need

And with my genuine care in word and so in deed?

What if he and I were separate people,

And I could bring him hope and safety while I wiped his tears

And I held him near my heart, like my son or the girl hidden in her sheets,

And I listened and I forgave and I encouraged communication without fears?

What if I comforted him and told him that he was okay,

And I didn’t scold him or said he should have done it in such a way?

I didn’t judge or compare, I just smiled my safety,

I gave warmth, I gave love and generosity?

What grown-up would I become having made peace with myself?

What would life be like with regret sitting on the shelf?

What if I realised that our memories were not reliable and did not accurately reflect the past,

Like the metallic bowl as the mirror and the squinting man as the seer must?

Then that past would be creating me, and my future an artist’s impression of my youth

And since my memories were not reliable should I be choosing present time as truth?

What if NOW were the time that mattered, the kitchen active, its larder filled,

The painting waiting a masterpiece, my universe expecting the reveal?

The little boy would learn to smile, and the sun would learn to rise,

The man could finally fly to the doubters’ surprise

What if that man told another who wanted to listen,

And she taught her children that they were perfectly imperfect,

And from the start their hearts were filled with images

Of the mountains, streams and forests that they would reflect?

What would existence taste like garnished just so?

And would its flavour spread to the world below?

What if the future were bright and scintillating, secure but undulating,

Not flat or plain, not harsh or full of pain?

What if we allowed it to flow and to grow without clinging unknowing

And if it felt normal to smile again, what would happen then…?


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