What I Would’ve Done

This could be a gospel song—better
yet, play it in a musical.

My favorites were by friends or
older people I respected in school.

I was afraid of a staged spotlight—
preferred the warmth of sports
dreams at night.

Matty was the name of my cousin
who I idolized, a prize at three
on Friday to watch him play.

Or on a Thursday night, I’d dress up
ten years old preppy again—

topsiders with tassels, polo jackets
and off to hoops games I’d go,
Poly Panthers against someone,
it didn’t matter let’s go!


But if I could do it again, I’d flip a few things—
do it all better, come out a king.

Not of the campus, but in my own
heart knowing I did my best to be the
best I could be—fear to the Devil you’ll see.

I’d have told Anne I liked her in third,
J.J. in fourth, would’ve played the piano
starting at five instead of obsessing on
my parents or their drinks, or on perfection—

Playing the piano takes less than you think!!

Approach the ivory, tickle the ebony, make
sounds that please you and God, have fun!!

Yes, Fun can be the best teacher of them

I’d have played and played, then sang and sang—

Take time to dance, learn some classical moves
then move in ways they haven’t seen yet.

Fred Astaire born again I’d have been, on stage
in the show—not to be a star, but then again
bring on the light and heat!!

It’s neat. A service to give, to give all you
got, to dance past fear, to study science
like a rock star enough to know that
C2H5OH ethyl alcohol pitched as “drink”
is volatile, flammable, toxic and not
worth another think!!

Why ever put that crud in my body?!?!

If I could go back and do it again,
I’d never dabble in Devil, hit that
piano and stage with love, tell
that cute girl how much I loved
her, and Mom and Dad too!

Sisters, brothers, friends, teammates,
Cast and Crew—it could be you!!


Love, man—

I’d have loved more. I’d have said
the word more.

They would have known.

Gosh I hope they know now!

I’m back… having failed. To love.

To say:

If you can, avoid me, and do it right
the first time.

It takes courage; I found it in God, or
“Higher Power.”

May you find one now!!!!


William, Class of 1990