Suppose a homeless man found
what survived of a tattered old jacket,
abandoned, like himself, to the elements
….and, in that tattered garment,
crumpled inside a pocket, a winning
lottery ticket could transform his life.

But, first he must find it, and then,
having found it, not toss it aside to be
blown wherever discarded debris blows.
Let us further suppose
the deadline to claim its prize
came at midnight of that very day.

Late that night, in winter’s turn,
he dreamed a new-day dream
that he could live his life over again,
knowing as much in his youth as
he knew now, so that all the choices
and hidden chances of wasted
turning points lay exhumed ahead.

But the thought made him cringe; regret
was a fire that gave pain without heat.
He awoke in cold sweat to the taste
of snow on the cracks of his lips
and pulled tight around his neck
the collar of yesterday’s fortune.
What luck to have found
a buffer against fate.





9 comments on “WINTERDREAM

  1. mistermuse says:

    In the spirit of the not-merry-for-everyone season, I have given this previously published poem a new life here, almost 25 years after I first wrote it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. RMW says:

    This started me thinking, would I rather find that lottery ticket (I do buy them from time to time) or be able to start over again with today’s knowledge (something I have to admit appeals to me). But in the end, rather than sitting around wondering about either, I am grateful to be where I am with what I have compared to so many other people. Thank you for sharing this lovely poem.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. mistermuse says:

    I can’t think of a better attitude to have, RMW. What’s done is done – still, I can’t help but question the depth of people of middle age & older who say they have no regrets in life. I find it hard to believe that anyone goes through life without having hurt someone, either by words or deed. This tells me that the “no regret-er” is either a surface person or an “it’s all about me” person to whom others are mere bit players in the movie of his/her life. Lacking such regret, it seems to me, the “no-regret-er” hasn’t earned the right to say “What’s done is done.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Don Frankel says:

    Ah Muse a lot of money only gets me in trouble. And, regrets… “I’ve had a few but then again too few to mention.” Do it all over again? Wouldn’t that be Deja Vu all over again?

    “regret was a fire that gave pain without heat” Great line.


  5. mistermuse says:

    Don, there IS one thing (love) about which one need have no regrets:

    Liked by 2 people

  6. arekhill1 says:

    Having regrets does come with the territory. Not dwelling on them has to as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mistermuse says:

    Robert Frost pretty much said as much: “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”


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