Do-Overs

The worst thing about life
is that we only get one
shot at it.
As far as I can tell anyway.
There are no do-overs –
whatever we do
or do not do
in every moment
demolishes its opposite.
The very act of acting
one way
instantly erases all
the other ways.
And so the world keeps
making and unmaking,
raveling and unravelling,
leaving us
dizzy
with the strobe and echo
of all the lives we didn’t lead,
the paths we didn’t take,
all that potential left
unfulfilled,
wasted.

So what do we do?
We peer to the sides
instead of ahead –
over picket fences
and through our glass rectangles,
to suss out just how well the
others are faring,
weighing their life’s decisions
against ours
as a way of glancing at a
safer reflection of what we
cannot directly
bear.

But –
if we are lucky
to be right here enough
we get to look
again
at our own lives,
blinking at the sweet
upturned faces
of the ones we adore,
to learn yet again,
for the bazillionth time
that the greatest thing about life
is that we only get one
shot at it.