Memory Insists On Pining

This caught my eye today from Summer Storm by Dana Gioia:

Why does this evening’s memory

Return with this night’s storm –

A party twenty years ago,

Its disappointments warm?

There are so many might have beens,

What ifs that won’t stay buried,

Other cities, other jobs.

Strangers we might have married.

And memory insists on pining

For places it never went,

As if life would be happier

Just by being different.

Indeed, memory does seem to pine “for places it never went.”  It feels natural to believe that “different” must be better, that “Door #1” I didn’t pick must have been better than “Door #2” that I did pick.  But of course we don’t know, never will.  Not really. Still….

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