And the future, channeled through this gap of now
Gives way to a backlog of opportunities
Lost, never reclaimed or rediscovered
Even as an infinity of futurities unimaginable
Eagerly pile up behind this narrow strait.
Dear Aging Heart, we have walked an older street
With anguished time forgot and labored breath,
Navigating cycles of years with imagined
Pleasures that seemed so real then, but now
They reel like errant importunities.
Can memories unlimited discover
In rude stories unrued, undiscovered
Airs or gusts of goodness? The straight
Path on which I set out despite the portents
Was fair enough, I think; and yet I breathe
Worrisome belabored stories and I know
That no one – or few – can imagine
The troubles I have caused. But doesn’t Imagination
Work with Grace and Bliss to cover
The past in future glory? And the now
Has a mystic, magic madness that straightens
Twisted, tortured traumas until their breath
Comes easily and their importance
Resounds like blessed opportunities.
No one on this side of the grave imagines
The endless openings that curl and wreath
Even yet around each unrecovered
Moment of the past. An amazing now,
Bending under futures’ pressures straightens
And heals even that most regretted traitor’s
Kiss. It harrows hell and finds unfortunates
Who could not imagine or dream a knowing
Happiness. Their lives lost and unmanaged,
Unremembered shall be recovered
And they will rise up breathing.
Breathe now, my heart, and
let these opportunities discover
Streets beyond all imagining.
Fr Ken Bartsch, OFM Conv