Vox Populi: A Public Sphere for Politics and Poetry
When there are so many things in the world
to regret, why is it I regret so little? Lessons
I learned either by doing or not doing,
outcomes that in the long run went by dark,
back roads were sometimes to my benefit
but at the expense of someone else.
Some days felt like progress, others simply profit.
How is it some people never stop to consider
what they’ve taken away from someone else—
The effect of light and shade on what they see,
noise and silence on what they hear?
I move on with what I have, but the slight pauses
that are all I carry of regret are a burden
so slight as to feel like a vanishing of pain,
a lifting of a piano from one’s back
with so little that’s ennobling between lifting
and vanishing. I can still remember the music
we heard moving into this place, the position
of the moon our first night and the smell
of the river, the smell of the dirt, the way
the river split the land in two on dark days
like a snake, and on bright days like a path
through a place where there once was none.
Copyright 2016 Jose Padua
Photograph by Jose Padua