If, Only

If only your mouth had stayed
things would be different
don’t fool yourself
if only things were left alone
the red flowered trees would
now have withered
listen to the guards
raking up the leaves
and when you see a significant
word upside down on a sheet
be advised
don’t speak

You found yourself wishing
the dead goodbye when it was
you who left, when it was
you that abandoned their
children and found fortune
in a land without beauty
in a place of original
values gone badly awry

where they will decide whether
to sharpen the knife or feed
the cows and no difference it will make
where the word out of turn could ruin
your life and burn vision from sight

If only your friend had acted right
if only the years spent doing
things you may never remember
were spent on the real
your family may have
found you inside a house
the grandparents could have
been your grandparents
but instead they are simply
fiction, a parable of what could
have been, if only.

and the boys sweep the leaves
of the street
and lament their station
the punishment of the stupid

and they sit in their imaginary
towers victors of all
they don’t even care about
the red flowers or the last
closing of that door.