I would have taken the scenic route
Stopped to smell the new-mown grass,
Or the languid marshy odors
Drifting through the open window of my car.
I might have stopped off to see my old friend
Whose house I have passed a hundred times
On my way from somewhere to somewhere else–
Stayed awhile, relived memories or made new ones.
I would have let the others speak
Drinking in their words, tasting them, weighing their wisdom
And nodding, or not, let them take the spotlight a little longer
While I held my own cleverness in check.
I would have prayed with more reflection, and
Less impatience. I would have used fewer words,
And chosen them with more care. I would have shown
More gratitude and less “attitude.”
I would have cried more and sighed less.
I would have risked speaking up in those awkward moments:
“I didn’t mean that.” “I’m glad to know you.”
“I’m so sorry.” “I love you.” “Please know that I love you.”
“You have an amazing smile.” “You are important.”
“God loves you with an everlasting, unshakable love!”
I would have watched more sunsets and fewer TV shows.
I would have written more stories and read fewer magazines.
I would have danced like no one was watching.
I would have sung like no one was listening.
I would have invited others to join me.
If I had known that I have five more years;
Or five more months, or five more decades…
Would I live differently? Pray differently?
Love differently? I hope so. I just don’t know.