“Show Up” by Paul Cummins

Paul Cummins

SHOW UP

you have a cold, are feeling run down, so you make a last-minute excuse and you don’t attend the dinner where you would have met the woman with whom you would have designed a new school when you were offered the job to do so and not knowing her would mean you didn’t get her recommendation for a music teacher whom you would have interviewed, hired, fallen in love with, and married and designed innovative music programs with and housed overseas students in your home and traveled to Bora Bora and the Galapagos with and she would not have introduced you to the man with whom you traveled to Vienna and China and whose biography you would write, and you wouldn’t have acquired two step-daughters and two step-grandsons and you wouldn’t have had the two daughters you and the woman you would not have met have had together and you would not have had the three grandchildren they have brought into the world and your world and so on and so on and had you let your cold and feeling run-down trigger your last-minute excuse and non-attendance, you wouldn’t be here now writing this and you would not know where you would be …

from Rattle #50, Winter 2015

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Paul Cummins: “I write poetry to share my unique perspective and to enter the dialogue, which I so admire, that comprises poetry through the ages.” (website)