Tell me, what wouldn’t have happened
If you had never lived?
Had never been born.
If the ambulance driver rushing your mother to the hospital
Had fallen asleep at the wheel…
Who would we blame for making the world poorer without you?
Perhaps the makers of his cough medicine who leaned too hard on the drowsy formula
Causing him to lean likewise on the pedal.
Perhaps the shift manager who scheduled him to drive his ambulance
and his vehicle beyond their breaking point…
Or maybe they deserve a round of applause
Because all you’ve ever contributed was pre-mature abortion
To the happiness of those around you.
Is your sheer presence and eviction notice
for other people’s peace of mind?
And how many on this planet will die with a healthy tan
Because you put the sunshine in their lives?
The slightest act can change the course of the world forever!
What if Dr. King’s father had found his mother attractive,
but held his tongue like a vice-grip on the throat of history?
What if Katherine told Joe Jackson children just weren’t in their future
and subsequently, neither was “Thriller.”
What if Hitler got accepted into art school?
Would the canvas of world politics be a beautiful landscape
were it missing its Mushroom Clouds?
And if the Natives had burned Christopher Columbus’ boats,
What would would be the face of the “Average American?
And what wouldn’t have happened if you had never lived?
If all the world’s a stage, each day, a new act in your personal legend,
Did you at least give a noteworthy performance?
Do you know people who have mastered the English language,
But don’t know the meaning of the word “impossible!?”
It doesn’t compute,
So their courage reprograms our software, glitching the Matrix
Making doors where there were none before!
Oceans part like Bible pages in their footsteps, so we follow them
Out of our bondage, out of our minds,
Because they were crazy enough not to believe in the Triangular Trade
Of Self-Doubt, Procrastination, And Regret!
Where we saw driftwood from the slaveship Amistad,
They saw a surfboard, and were just nuts enough
To Hang-10 into the Promised Land!
And we get to say we watched it all happen
And they get to say we could make it happen ourselves.
And when the poets sit oceanside and tell the children of your triumph
They will search their own footprints on their paths to be legends!