Oh so many scenes rewind in my mind,
Ones I could have stolen, but didn’t try;
Boat loads of chances get gone for good–
Blow them and enter the Land of Should.
All the sweet relatives who showed me only kindness,
I should have told I loved but didn’t due to shyness;
I ponder the gifts of time and love they gave
As I recall memories at each one’s grave.
A parade of pretty faces haunts me still
Of gals I should have asked out but lacked the will;
I wonder if we could have become lovers
And realize several are now grandmothers.
I recall bullies I should have defied,
But looked the other way and sadly sighed;
Yet who struck me then as truly hairy
Strike me now as not nearly so scary.
Such exciting concerts did I forgo
Since they cost “way too much” for just one show
Some of those singers have each become a legend;
They were stupendous performers now long since dead.
How many novels I should have written,
Stories of suspense or lovers smitten,
Literary dreams put on pages,
Not lost hopes from my younger ages.
Shyness is a zealous thief stealing chances,
A cancer of the will halting advances;
On guard to prevent any leap,
Dreams die hard on its large ash heap.
But if you let key moments pass,
And don’t leap through that looking glass,
How regret will throb at what could have been,
For a missed chance is the most lasting sin.
Dr. Douglas Young was reared a faculty brat in Athens, Georgia, before becoming a full-time professional nerd himself. He taught political science and history at Gordon College in Barnesville, Georgia, from 1987 to 1999. He then taught at Gainesville State College in Gainesville, Georgia, from 1999 to 2013, and he taught at the University of North Georgia-Gainesville from 2013 to the end of 2020, where he also advised UNG’s multiple award-winning Politically Incorrect and Chess Clubs. His essays and poems have appeared in a variety of publications, and his first novel, Deep in the Forest, is set to be published in 2021.