Friday, April 26, 2013

Had I But Known All That I Might Have Known

In honor of National Poetry Month, I have a guest writer who asked if she could write her "Had I But Known" post in poetic form. (I'll leave you to imagine the swoon I fell into at such an amazing request.) So I offer you:

Ubiquity (a poem)
           Guest Post by Hannah Broich

Had I but known time was short, I would have cherished the grass between my toes
                        the sun on my back—
                                                            the mismatched outfits—
            those endless afternoons wrapped up in imaginative wonder and created worlds—
                                    My dirt, sun, rain each had its part.

Had I but known the teeth would straighten in due time
                        those uneven bumps would disappear—
                                                            that you were just as insecure as I was—
            that you were just a person seeking someone to notice you—
                                    My insecurity hangs on forever.

Had I but known you would rip out my heart
                          and never accept my sincere regret—never speak to me again,
            but still have a sliver of my heart nonetheless—
                                    My dreams are surer indications.

Had I but known the consistent never-had-the-time to teach me to cook would end in my perseverance to master it.
                        To teach me what I never want to be—
                           to explain my predisposition to sprinkle second guesses
                           and to add a pinch of doubt—
to dump too much overanalyzing and questioning and confusion and misinterpretations and
                           to learn how to patiently sit and then figure out how to strain it all out in
                                     My sieve of patience.

Had I but known you were there all along I would have contentedly looked
            by our tree, my best friend to be
                        —with your listening ear
            your God-sent self to complete me—my soul mate in waiting.
                        What I never expected. Never believed could be true.
            Wearing white to prove the pure, forever union.
My tears were shed in validation.

Had I but known how much I would love you before I knew you, every
                              flutter, kick, sharing my body, kissing your forehead
            and counting your fingers and toes – wiping your tears, bandaging your hurt, to toughly    love you—
                        praying over you while you were in a dreamland—
    so innocent, wanting to protect you from the inevitable grayness to come—
            so frustrating and equally rewarding, best thing I ever have done with
My life.

Had I but known the unpredictable journey and its twists and turns would
            require yielding
                        and stopping. Speeding up and slowing down in forced observation.
Learning to question and aspire. To challenge.
To defend my dream against your skepticism.
To press on when the world in its sinister way shows up waiting to devour
                        My joy.
 Or maybe the point isn’t to have known.
                        My life song should be a melody of dissonant complexity.


 This gorgeous poem was offered by Hannah Broich: a mother, wife, English teacher (woohoo!), and one of the most beautiful people I know. She is a talented singer and writer, has an infectious laugh, and enjoys a good Lifetime Original Movie here and there. She and I have been best friends since I was 12 years old (she, 13), and is one of God's greatest gifts in my life. Thank you, Hannah, for your sincerity and your vulnerability. It's an honor to have you here.

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  1. All beautiful, Hannah, but I especially loved the stanza about your baby. Very, very nice. And a great way to end poetry month. :)

  2. This is fantastic! An elegant capture of living and learning.


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