We all start life like a clean sheet of paper,
pulled from some familial ream.
Smooth and clear and ready for the writing,
the drawing, the composing of
an artistic undertaking called a lifetime.
So often, though, comes a day life bends
and crumples us into hunched-over balls of failure,
destined for tossing in with other throwaways.
Settled into my downward trajectory
of the arc to the trashcan I was, my sheet
a mass of idle doodles, manic scribbles,
ragged erasures, when a revelatory breeze
skittered me off the wastebasket rim.
I bounced up, uncrumpled, laid myself
flat here on this desk and recollected:
We sheets of humanity may get
all wrinkled and raggedy, but we still
have a clean second side.
I looked past the creases and furrows,
taking a lesson from the wisdom of
Side One’s first-draft bleed-throughs.
My sheet’s a wee tattered, but it’s full
of smudged and crinkled knowledge,
and all this space left to freely mess.
Not a make-good sequel, just Chapter Two.