I've been around for a while now
How long? I'm not exactly sure
It's not up to me,
Does a leaf in the wind know
Where it's going?
The distance it's travelled?
No, it doesn't,
But a leaf doesn't bear the burden
Of remembering either.
Surely you've read the stories in the newspaper,
They say it's clearest when you're a kid,
That the memories fade as you grow older.
You're 3, 4 years old (this time)
You ask about things that confuse your parents.
Talk about places you've never been
Inquire about your other mother,
Remember how she spoke in german,
You don't know where or what Germany even is yet.
You were around 17 then, but you're 4 now.
And you miss the farm.
What happened to that boy?
The next time around you're an old man,
(You don't tell anybody about this one
You know better now, and there's not much to tell anyway)
His memories are hazy, to you now, and to him then.
Where did that life go? Those odd 80 years?
You remember being lost and confused in a supermarket,
You worried your family. Not your family, his family.
But towards the end,
He wasn't really sure if they were his family either.
And in the body that does the remembering,
The one that asks about the farm,
And wonders about the old man,
Whose first memory is the feeling of falling
From a great, great distance and thinking:
'I'm here now'.
That body feels so old. You've never not felt old.
When you were 15 going on 45,
You blamed the feeling on depression.
And maybe that was it. Or maybe it's all starting to add up.
You don't have a death wish, you don't want to end this life
There's still so much to do! But you do wonder.
If you'll remember this one too. If there will be a next one.
You hope not. An old soul is a heavy burden. And you're so tired.
There's a kind of solace in fantasising about the alternative.
Returning to nothingness. Empty. Quiet.
Formless energy in the void. Like the aftermath of the Big Bang.
But the leaf doesn't get to choose.
I've been saying you this whole time,
When I really mean me.
Sorry if that was confusing.
But you, me, the leaf. It's all the same.
And who knows, you could be me
(Does any of this sound familiar?)
Or, I could be you, rather
The next time around.