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Sometimes a wave
of emotion overwhelms,
regret mixed with memory
mixed with pain mixed
with extreme pleasure,
near uncomfortable but
inescapable as passing gas.

Truth shines as rainbows
after storms, but stuck in
clouds are chances lost
to time to do or say the
right thing.  I wish I could
go back and be a true soul
in place of the wet rag I was.

1984, English Beat becoming
General Public, the middle
school dance floor opening
up, everything ready to go
except me.  I’m half there,
half aware, half unsure and
in the end 100 percent alcoholic.

It’s not just about the drink,
it starts with not expressing love.
She was there, I loved her,
I never told her.  She was there,
I loved her and never told her,
it repeats over and over the
great sin of dishonest omission.

The pain, the year, that rain,
the rainbow after, the songs
the dances free of commission—
relationships half engaged like
marriage without consummation,
or love without children, songs
without rhythm beating funeral

marches to the grave like
Longfellow said.  Recovery
is being the “Hero in the strife”—
changing your life, watching you
and it grow away from the past
like survivors from the fire,
it tries to lick you to safety.

Ouch, don’t get hurt!
Nostalgia is a flash from the
past, a time when you faced
a world of opportunity and fun,
was not ready and can only
hope now that once begun
is half done, heal thyself—

Watch Mary Poppins and be
a child, this time the one
that tells the truth and falls
fully in love with the moment
in the dance that years ago
left you that taste of regret.
Now is all, for old age to forget.