When things don't go my way I mutter to myself,
bang my head against the nearest wall and simulate
suicide by pointing my forefinger to the side of my head.
I get into wallowing, dwelling on my check-list of wrong
choices of the past which no hocus-pocus can rectify:
My business deals that went sour, woman I should have wed,
cushy job I lost, house I never bought and my kids that left
before I got to know them.
I'm just a lost spelunker whose lights grow dim haunted by
finger pointing echoes bouncing off the gloomy tunnels of my cave.
Could I be wrong about myself?
I imagine I'm a spawning salmon swimming against the current,
remembering what I learned at camp:
After I mastered the dead-man's-float and could tread water without
drowning, I crawled with easy breathing, a sleek lapstrake slicing
through foaming swells.
I breast stroked like a Polar Bear about to snag a plumpish seal,
butterflied like a porpoise doing loop-the-loops over white caps
honing in on a smiling mate.
Perhaps its never too late to do a little soft-shoe, sing an Italian aria
or two, discovering I can get back on my horse, move on with all the
finesse and persistence Mrs. Stick-to-it-iv-ness taught me in
the second grade, who never tired of asking: "Why be an old Ford
when you can be a Rolls-Royce?"
Milton P. Ehrlich