We All Can’t Have It All, Can We?

© Janet Boyd aka Bee Spit 2000 – 2012


We can’t have it all.
Lord knows, I’ve tried.
I almost did, once or twice.

Then…. pffffft. Gone.
At the last minute I hesitated,
Seeing a desert beyond.

I don’t know what “all” means any more,
But I’m beginning to see through the
Haze of my own ambitions and needs.

I know women in their 30s and beyond,
Trying to “have it all,”
Dancing like marionettes strung out on speed,
Desperate to beguile and seduce everyone—and I mean everyone
As though they’ll never age, that sex is all they have;
Being the perfect mother, career going full-tilt, the
Magical, mysterious, all-purpose Earth Mother Vagina with spangles.

They’re killing themselves.
I hate to break it to them,
But there’s that moment when you
Kick down the door where All is stored,
And there’s nothing there.

In my case, All was sitting there, smirking at me.
It was a Thursday, in April,
The world sparkled with Spring.
The stars lined up just right,
It was just within reach.
But ….. but then it was gone,
Like a dream that shattered in the early morning light.

Some seem to have it all for a while,
But the real story tells more.
Even billionaires get sunburn.
And fight with their kids.
Guard the hoard with lawyers,
Feel sorry for themselves and
Blame the poor,
And come down with gout;
Hate taxes and capital gains,
Fret over which vacation home to use,
Which is it this time?
Aspen or Maine?
That just pisses me off.
And I mutter something about
A rich man Passing through the eye of a needle.

“I’ve been rich, and I’ve been poor,
And rich is better,” Molly Brown said once.

Then she rode the Titanic, spent hours in a lifeboat,
Watched others go under, glad she survived,
But lived forever with the cries of the drowning,
lived in a big house, never belonging.

She ended alone, finally resigned
To having all the world could give,
Yet wryly seeing some things
Were forever out of reach.
And the good ladies of Denver
Snubbed and cut her the rest of her life.
And she learned to laugh,
With a hard-won wisdom.

So it comes down to these, I think:
If I have it all, what’s left for you?
And if you have it all, well, that just wouldn’t do.

This morning a robin hopped in the yard, cocked her head,
Listened for worms. The daffodils are turning
The land a yellow shade of optimistic; the days lengthen and grow warmer.
A cat dozes in the window next door,
A rabbit breaks cover when the dog gets too near;
The cold spring gushes out of the deep earth and rushes through town,
Heedless of us, headed to the sea, not looking back.
The sea licks the land as it has for a billion years,
Tasting all of our dreams.

So what does it mean, to have it all?

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