I Wish I Were
by Ken Wheatcroft-Pardue

a better person
more thoughtful, not as clumsy,
had more friends, smelled better,
a lot better.

Didn’t fret so,
was better looking,
had a body that did not succumb
so to gravity. Could actually
take off 20 – oh hell, why not
30 pounds and keep them off.

Didn’t get so muddle-headed when tired
and not so easily seduced by habit.
Didn’t forget birthdays and, ouch, anniversaries.

Could engage in small talk.
Could engage in small talk
without looking at cleavage.

Was buff, somewhat at least,
(Forget the 6-pack. I'll settle for 3).
A half foot taller, hair still thick,
and always wore a dazzling smile
with straight, unchipped teeth.

Did not hold a grudge,
did not always have to be right,
was not so damn sensitive.

Actually enjoyed listening to others
tell me about their darling grandchildren
and the most minute details of their colonoscopy,
ad nauseum.

But most of all, I wish,
I were a better person.


Copyright 2023 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.