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.