Daily Archives: February 5, 2020

Also Ran

Thinking of
all the talent show
you never hear from again

(unless by chance one of them
makes it big and then
how the news loves to bring it up
as in, wow, looks like the show
got it wrong, look how this one
was the real talent and 
ooh wee ooh, we told you so
back then, although in fact
they didn’t), but then
there are the others

who go back to more or less
the same old same old,
the used-to-be that rises up
to cradle them or swallow them.

For most it’s no doubt fine and they settle in
with memory and love for the moment,
the not-even-quite-Warhol moment
that gets mentioned now and then
by locals when they sing the anthem
at a high school game or tear up the floor
at a family wedding or jump on stage
to sing at the village bar with a cover band:
c’est la vie say the old folks, etc., etc….

of course, there are no doubt a few
who crumble like cookies into dust
and use words like robbed and contender
and should have been and rigged,
who groan for decades afterward about injustice.

I do not know
whether I would have been
contented or embittered
in the aftermath

had I ever had the courage 
to step to the stage,
even as I mutter
“too late, too late”
while refusing to consider
that I might have been

that I might have won.