Without Regret

On a dry and dusty street
I met an old timer
The oddest fellow you’d ever meet
But one hell of a philosopher

He stared with one good eye
And said "I got a story to tell
Soon I shall die
And likely burn in hell
You listen hard, you listen good
You’ll be the last to hear my voice
Boy, you do as you should
You ain’t got no choice"

So silently I stood
Firmly on the ground
Try as hard as I could
I couldn’t produce a sound.

"I have a question for you.
But you must dig deep
Answer it true
And the rewards you’ll reap."

"What would you do
If at the end of the day
Somehow you knew
The world would slip away
Everything you hold in your heart
All those you adore
Shall forever part
Together no more.
If darkness was to engulf the light
There will be no more chances or tomorrows
To the land of eternal night
You will carry all of your sorrows"

Visions of the apocalypse filled my mind
Swirling images too horrifying to mention
As I struggled to find
The old man’s intention

"Would you die with regret
Any wrongs you wanted to right
Anything you didn’t fix yet
By the end of the night?"

"Does everyone you love
Know how much you care?
That if push came to shove
You were always there?"

"Did you honestly
Always try your best?
Most importantly
Did you live life to its fullest?"

"Well today is that day
Your world will soon end
Don’t ask how I can say
You wouldn’t comprehend
But know this,
What I say is true
And my final wish
That I bestow on you
I pray you realize
You have precious little time
Use it wise
Dear friend of mine."

I raced down the street
As fast as I could go
Though I ran on shaky feet
I never did slow
I had to be fast
I had so many preparations to make
Today would be my last
For God’s sake
But my day was amazing
And when it was my time to depart
It was not very surprising
I was going to die with a liberated heart

However the next morning I awoke
Much to my disbelief
I was a fool to listen when he spoke
The damn emotional thief
But perhaps there was some truth
I pondered askance
But I had no proof
And was not willing to chance
Maybe he was off a day
Or even two
It is sufficed to say
I knew what I had to do

So each day since
I lived like my last
Thriving on every experience
Never dwelling in the past
I live in the present instead
And everyone knows how I feel
For my fear of waking up dead
Is very real

But if I were to die
I would have but one regret
But do not cry
In heaven I will correct it
I’d meet the old man
After I entered the gateway
Humbly shaking his hand
I’d finally be able to say
Thank you

~Dan D