I Wish I Could Begin Again

January 8, 2012
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“I wish I could begin again.”
Her voice cracked as she spoke, as if she needed to cough
or cry.
Here, in the ‘home’ where there were one too many nurses and one too few visitors.
Where I sat with an old woman in pink pants and a pink sweatshirt that was one shade lighter, so it looked wrong.
I spend an hour here and chat casually and feel an inner, uncontrollable condescension because
I’m younger?
Because I still have the trials and tribulations of youth.
The tragedies and joys of love and friends and clothes, but…her outfit doesn’t match.
And I pause and I think about what it must be like,
to look back on the sleepovers and first kisses and fights and births and say
it wasn’t perfect.
The grim realization that anticipation is rarely on the same page as reality.
I search to find the tendrils of youth hiding in her mismatched outfit.
Whispy breezes of girlish giggles and late night study sessions and salty tears.
They are imprisoned by the cold metal of her wheelchair.
And now I feel frantic,
as I see a majestic hour glass upside down.
Sand rudely tumbling through, barreling through bad days and awkward situations.
And I need to do it all.
To aspire, to hope, to dream.
She does not see my anxious terror as she pulls on the sleeve of her salmon sweatshirt,
“I wish I could begin again.”





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