I’ll Have to Go

The Prompt: Finite Ceatures—At what age did you realize you were not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?

I’ll Have to Go

This journey of our lifetime is a one-way ride.
I realized the truth of this the day my father died.
But in the living of it, I forgot again—
concentrating on the present and where I had been
instead of thinking of the future and mortality.
There’s something in a busy life that sets the spirit free,
convincing us that we’re immortal. That we’ll always be.

The many times that I was made to see I might have died:
the time I was abducted and taken for a ride,
the time he held the gun up to my head and pulled the trigger,
as I fell to the street, somehow my life seemed to get bigger;
and I saw all of it at once, spread out there below me,
and somehow though I wasn’t dead, I felt that I was free,
and for awhile, I found it was enough to simply be.

There have been other times when death has had me in its clench:
the time not long ago when that limb missed me by an inch,
the time I nearly drowned when I knew I was gone for sure,
yet somehow, death rejected me—released me from its lure.
It’s just at night when I’m alone that all comes tumbling back
and I begin to calculate all that my life might lack,
and life becomes a tempting peddler opening his pack.

The places never visited, the loves I let pass by,
and all the other things I thought to do before I die
all tumble out to tempt me and I think perhaps I still
have some things to do before I climb that final hill.
I think, perhaps, there’s one more love. One journey yet or two.
So many things that I have left I always thought I’d do.
So I am getting ready—only waiting for my cue.

That’s why at night I lie awake, sometimes remembering.
At other times just wondering what this next year will bring.
If I am lucky, I have thirty years or more till death
takes away these memories and stills my final breath.
Until then, I’ll live life fully and go where I must go.
I’ll follow my own pathway and ignore the status quo.
Instead of drifting lazily, I’ll row and row and row!

13 thoughts on “I’ll Have to Go

  1. alhowlinwater

    I so love your reflections. Your musings remind me of my own trip through consciousness. Thanks for my memories that your thoughts helped me to relive.


    1. lifelessons Post author

      Thanks, Al. I think we all feel we are experiencing these thoughts alone until we express them and find we are not as unique as we have always thought we are. Judy


  2. Laura M.

    Compared to you, I feel I’m not even drifting lazily; I’m still standing on dry land with a toe in the water. I love how you manage to tease us with these obviously HUGE life events that you just casually weave into the fabric of your poems. And there seem to be SO many!


    1. lifelessons Post author

      And when I look at your pictures and read your poems, it always seems that your life is very full. Darling baby and partner. And, I wish I’d had your incredible insight and vision when I was your age. We are just inspecting each others lives at opposite ends of the ride…and we are both incredibly lucky just to be experiencing this improbable adventure called life. I know that my experiences sound improbable taken in mass and they are probably due to a good degree of naiveté. I’m wiser now but still choose a certain amount of risk over utter normalcy. Judy


  3. Pingback: Not Much Choice! | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

  4. Scott

    You’ve indefinably had some close calls, in sequential order. Any one would give me pause. Nicely done. Your couplets are outstanding . Was it pope who crafted the couplets comparing the Queen of England to her dog?

    Liked by 1 person


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