What if I’ve been dead for years,
As in it happened and all else
Is just the last two seconds
Of my life playing out before me?
Maybe I died when the semi
Ran into our car at 35 on Appleton,
All my fellow freshmen having
Long since forgotten me.
Or that head-on collision
With Chris and Sean--
What if we’re all gone.
Or still going, just living out
Our lives in our minds?
Further back, what if I really fell
Of a cliff while hiking with my dad,
And instead of growing old and happy,
He grew with guilt for having gone
On that fateful hike?
Or later, when I dozed off for a second
Several times while driving the family
To Disney World and I let us all go,
Me dreaming we’re all still here.
Maybe, in all the sports I’ve played,
I got hit in the head or came down wrong
And I’m only imagining my career
Is just now over. I could have gotten shot
In a random drive-by back in high school,
People saddened at the loss of potential,
Or I fell when I climbed Grandma Jaeger’s
Silo at the same age I believe my son
To be right now. My perception
Is I’m alive, and I think, therefore I am,
But if no one ever reads these lines,
Was I ever really here? And all of you,
Like the person I saw crossing the street
Near Blue Earth, Minnesota, and I wondered
At what he was thinking; maybe it was
About that person he accidentally
Killed while living in Wisconsin
Several years back. But maybe it was
Only an hour ago, while up on the roof,
When I lost my balance just a little bit.
And the undiscovered country is me
Thinking it’s all still happening. And then,
Even if you are reading this, you have
To ask if it’s because you’re simply
Imagining it all in your mind’s eye,
Years after you’ve joined me.