If I Could Tell This Story

By Joe Benevento - Kirksville, Missouri, USA - 8 June 2014


"Till human voices wake us and we drown."

--T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"


If I could tell this story

of a time long past,

age fifteen, say, when

possibility still sang

too innocently to seem

a siren, I would become,


for the measures it would take

to tempt recall into words,

the adolescent more than

forty years before,

that pimply kid who wrote


sad songs and unrequited love

sonnets in his locked bedroom,

announcing his belief, even through

the most helpless of lyrics,

he had discovered something


worth sharing with the world.

If I end this story, I will startle

like someone wrenched from dreaming,

wondering why, in spite of all the intervening

I am still singing the same songs


now knowing exactly

where they are leading.