You can't have it all:
especially on nights like these,
with the wind on your back
and the world lit before you
like a string of lamplights,
with everyone gathered around the table,
the radio on in the next room over,
with you and your siblings
drinking wine and listening to your father speak
of better times gone by,
with your mother shushing him when needed,
with only the promise of another sunrise before you
as sleep stomps impatiently on your eyelids;
the memory of your grandfather,
whose absent seat at the dinner table
is one-part liberty and two-parts yearning,
delivers a mischievous aria, 
one you know so well that your entire body
ripples in the river of recollection --

you remember now, 
quietly, smiling softly,
dancing closer and closer
to the warm pale light,
the words you've always known:

you cannot have it all,
but if all turns out to be nothing
in the final verse of our swan song,
that may just be enough
as it always has been.



Copyright © 2015 John Grimmett. All rights reserved.

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