My new poems podcast, Words by Winter, can be found here.
“No regrets” is a phrase and a feeling I don’t understand. Regrets, I have plenty. “But every decision and every choice brought you to where you are right now,” a friend argues, in the latest iteration of a conversation we keep having. “How can you possibly have any regrets, Alison?”
How? Because of the look in my son’s eyes that one summer day. Because of the sound of my daughter’s voice on the phone that one winter evening. Because of the words someone once said to me one dark night, and how I let them lodge inside me and didn’t fight back. How can I possibly not have regrets? I tell my friend.
No, I wouldn’t change my life, and yes, I would change my life.
Thanks, Robert Frost, by David Ray
Do you have hope for the future?
someone asked Robert Frost, toward the end.
Yes, and even for the past, he replied,
that it will turn out to have been all right
for what it was, something we can accept,
mistakes made by the selves we had to be,
not able to be, perhaps, what we wished,
or what looking back half the time it seems
we could so easily have been, or ought…
The future, yes, and even for the past,
that it will become something we can bear.
And I too, and my children, so I hope,
will recall as not too heavy the tug
of those albatrosses I sadly placed
upon their tender necks. Hope for the past,
yes, old Frost, your words provide that courage,
and it brings strange peace that itself passes
into past, easier to bear because
you said it, rather casually, as snow
went on falling in Vermont years ago.