The hardest part of growing up is discovering there’s no pause button
or fast forward,
or repeat forever
But choice is only two-thirds of chance
That the outcome is all that ever matters
But you’ll never see it in advance
You see God handed us the remote control but he took out the batteries
Left us to sort out the negatives and the positives
Which words leave us feeling empty
And which inspire an optimist?
Sometimes we feel inspired and write ourselves and instruction manual
Diagrams to troubleshoot the divine connection
Or safety warnings for facing rejection
2 double-A alkaline batteries
Phillips head unscrews the back
“The hands are the hands of Essau”
Then sun darkened and so began the attack
Sometimes we get cocky and ditch it
Maybe when shower heads spray gas
Play like we’re in control for a while
And yet this too shall pass
See the remote’s a double-edged machine
And the same second that might be your worst nightmare
Might be someone’s lucid wet dream
So do we replay the wedding or the funeral?
Skip over your grandson’s first kiss
Or the refugee’s unheard dying wish?
Press snooze through child abuse
Or an innocent man escaping the noose?
Who could make such choices?
Maybe that’s why time permits no backseat drivers
Not for you, me, or Khmer Rouge survivors
You think six billion arms on a wheel would steer towards Heaven?
Let alone proper gas mileage in such a recession?
But rest assured,
We’ll never be given the chance to abuse it
And sooner or later we must all face the music.
Because life’s not an iPod
And all we want is
“Speech! Speech! Speech!”
From the big guy upstairs
To feel a warm friendly nod
That shows us he cares
But all we get back is the creaking of a rocking chair
Someone sipping Jack Daniel’s
And maybe the low static-y buzz
Of someone flipping through the channels