Daily Archives: May 6, 2016

The One About That Suggested Letter To My Younger Self

I wonder,
if ever I am able to do this,

how I should greet
the reader of such a letter:

Dear You?
Dear Me?
Dear Tony, this is also Tony?
That last might work best —

I’ll assume that if we ever develop
a way to do this, we’ll know at once
because letters will have flown
back and forth
throughout history and such transit
will be commonplace;

that we don’t know now
that this happens
suggests that it never happens,
but let’s put that issue
aside for now — 

if I get the opportunity
to write the first line to follow
that debacle of a salutation,

if ever I write one and
a delivery method is developed
for such a thing, my first line
shall be an exhortation:

burn this now, 
read no further, 
take no advice
from it; it took
knowing nothing at all
at that age
for you to learn
what little you know
at this age.

If it ever happens,
the evidence suggests
this approach will work.

It’s proof that I never
learned to take
advice, except

it also
proves that at least once,
I did;

but it also proves
that at least once
I did not break the rules
given to me 
and indeed,
I read no farther;
of course 

there’s the possibility that
I simply ignored
my own advice,
which proves
how little we change
after a certain age;

or it may be that I’ve sent my letter
to a self who never received it,
and someone in the past
is reading my letter
and becoming a better man than I am
by taking the advice.

Most likely of all of these
is the possibility

that it sits
in a dead letter box somewhere,
forever unread in the void; proving
without a doubt that

spewing heartfelt words
in a futile effort to change an indifferent past
is in fact all I was ever meant to do.