The Balance Sheet [poem]

If I knew then what I know now    
There would have been    
  far less pain  
    and far less joy
  far less confusion  
    and far fewer discoveries
I would have seen    
  far fewer tragedies  
    and far fewer triumphs
  far less ugliness  
    and far less beauty
I would have held    
  far fewer expectations  
    and far fewer dreams
  far fewer opinions  
    and far fewer ideas
I would have made    
  far fewer compromises  
    and far less peace
  far fewer mistakes  
    and far fewer amends
I would have been    
  far less certain  
    and far less adventurous
  far less careless  
    and far less aware
I would have taken    
  far fewer risks  
    and far fewer chances
  far fewer criticisms  
    and far fewer lessons
I would have known    
  far less hazard  
    and far less freedom
  far less anxiety  
    and far less wonder
I would have assumed    
  far less ambition  
    and far less responsibility
  far fewer conclusions  
    and far fewer beginnings
And for what I don’t know now
that I will know tomorrow
I am grateful.

2 comments on “The Balance Sheet [poem]

  1. If I knew then
    what I know now,
    I would have spent less time
    dwelling in fear,
    and in the past, or the future.

    If I knew then
    what I know now,
    is a trick question,
    that should be left alone,
    maybe.

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