I had a moment–well, more than a few–
to look back on all the things I’d planned to do.
Oh, the itinerary was going to be insane:
London by rail, Cannes by plane.
But then disease arrived, escorted by dread,
and laid the best-laid plans to rest instead.
Now as the weeks have passed,
I have, at last,
calculated a small but thoughtful sum
of all the things I’ve actually done.
I’ve reached back out to friends I’d known
whose once well-worn paths had become overgrown,
and sat for a quiet, nostalgic moment on the phone,
and talked and listened.
I paused and let an empty space
of quiet contemplation grace
the once busy bustle of work’s daily pace
and let silence take its rightful place
as dawn approached and glistened.
I gave a careful and considered review
of all the things I thought I had to do:
once so important and now so small,
if not accomplished…oh, the sky would fall!
But it did not, I’m now aware.
And going forward, I thought, chin resting in my hand,
After This, what then? What was The Plan?
The future, once so certain-seeming
wondered like a child, day-dreaming.
And did not answer, or even care.
For we are not the mighty gods we think
who conquer and boast and toast and drink;
we are but lost and passing ghosts
who prosper or perish at the pleasure of our Host,
and as triumph and disaster around us dance
we pretend to control what is more often chance,
as we seldom if ever seem to get around to
all the things we’d planned to do.