Yellow Wood

Those roads diverging
are everything.
The simple question
followed by a 
thought experiment,
as if my inner
all-knowing eye could
look fully down each path.

And then a choice. A or B
You could choose A.  
Go to A’s college and work
at A’s career and marry
A’s lover. Have A’s children,
invest with A’s money,
retire at A’s time. 
And maybe wonder, 
wonder always
where B would have led. 

The small religious college,
not the ivy-trimmed degree. 
The elusive career
discovered too late to
climb the same ladders.
The relationships and the
miscarriage and the should-
have-started-earlier 401k. 
That’s where B led. That’s 
the road taken. 

And from the bench I rest
upon halfway, maybe more, 
down B’s path, I think of A. 
I always see it neatly trimmed, 
all downhill. Maybe there’s even
a bike. But there is 
no you.  And  you
are everything. 


© 2021 Deborah E. Moore, All Rights Reserved

This Morning

This morning, curled around
 the back side of you,
 face against shoulder blade,
 the smell of your warmth
 mingling with my breath,
 the familiarity moved me. 
  
 I wrote lines about it in my head,
 though none return now as naturally
 as they rose from the ashes of sleep.
 The cat saw I was awake
 and climbed my body
 to haunch under my chin.
  
 You roused, looked at me with narrow
 sleepy eyes.  My fingers slid along your arm. 
 “Hands cold,” you mumbled. I
 pulled the covers to your shoulder and
 caressed the parts of quilt now shaped like 
 you, but the dogs had heard us,
  
 and they whined and pawed the crate door.
 So I arose and set the day in motion,
 took the dogs out, fed them,
 opened the blinds, started coffee,
 checked the weather, dressed.
 Soon you are up, and thus we begin
  
 another day we will live together.  Granddaddy 
 used to say, “Everything gets over with.”  
 And I know this will too.  One day.  
 But not today. This morning started 
 with the smell of you, and what will someday end 
 was today everything I could count on. 
  


 © 2021 Deborah E. Moore, All Rights Reserved 

This, Too

A friend posted a meme on 
Facebook that directed us scrollers
to choose one from a grid of twelve.  
 
Options included items like:
 
          Being Able to Travel Anywhere Instantly
          Having the Largest Social Media Following in the World
          Being the Reigning Monarch of a Medium-Sized But Wealthy Country
          Winning a Five Hundred Million Dollar PowerBall. 
 
The option I chose was near the top of the list, 
and I knew it was my choice 
before I even read the others.  
 
          Pick Any Age to Be Forever. 
 
The age part wasn’t so important.  
          Twenty-five had been nice.
          Forty had redeeming moments.
          This age I am now, I have no quarrel with. 
 
No, the part that was important was
          “forever.” 
 
If I could be immortal 
and still a decent human being, 
like a
          fasting vampire 
then I could make all the choices.  
 
I could go back to school at
          87 to study architecture and then again at 
          142 to become a classical musician and
          309 to finally master quadratic equations. 
 
I could watch nations rise and fall and rise again.  
I could live in every country 
for a year or ten or as long as I want.
 
I could actually read every book on my shelf. 
 
I could 
          tango in Buenos Aires,
          can can in Paris,
          flamenco in Barcelona. 
 
Vampires live such interesting lives. 
I would take a version of that, 
          less tartare.
 
But it was just a meme,
and selecting one wish from a list
doesn’t make it come true,
 
so my options are limited.
My fresh starts aren’t infinite. 
The choices I’ve already made
came with consequences. 
 
I can’t live long enough to 
ease the remorse of poor decisions
          or
learn to avoid them altogether 
(a lesson obviously requiring 
a longer curriculum than 
one human 
life). 
 
If I could live forever, 
I might learn how
 
          to love you, 
          clear and clean,
          an endless supply
          without condition
          or renewal fees
 
          to not ever 
          leave you behind
         or alone
         or aghast
 
          to hold on
          as if this
          was our 
          one
          chance.
 
Instead, 
as it is, 
my choices have
sometimes driven a stake 
through your heart. 
 
          And mine.  
 
I won’t live 
long enough to learn how 
to make them right.  
I may not even
          ever 
          know 
I needed to try.  
 
The immortal hope - 
living through to perfection. 
 
The only mortal one -  
faulty, messy, 
honest love. 
 


© 2020 Deborah E. Moore, All Rights Reserved