Yesterday

Written by: Jim Fish

It wasn’t too long before the writing of "Yesterday" when I was out daydreaming beneath the 
weathered timbers of some squeaky ol’ windmill on our ranch in West Texas. Then fantasy 
and reality shifted. What once was real in my youth became the fantasy. It was as if my 
childhood dreams and fantasies had gained the upper hand and, in some surrealistic, bizarre 
fashion they placed me in a realm of nightmarish realities. Right became wrong… left 
became right… and war became reality.

When youth had hold of yesterday And time seemed slow to pass away, My thoughts were wings on which I’d fly Through fantasies in my mind's eye. The child matured since on the hill, When wind would blow the squeaky mill, When thoughts would soar the vast unknown, And time just marked the years I’d grown. Now, yesterday’s in dream’s embrace, The fantasy or foreign place, From which I’ve left and come alone, And time’s the trail I'm riding on. The trail has led from peace to war, From all the things I’d known before, To places where I have to deal With hidden terror, dark and real. It’s like I’ve left the world and passed To zones where wretched souls are cast, Where peace is just an idle dream That soothes my mind when fear’s extreme. A moment’s peace, that’s free of fear, Is scarce and guarded near and dear, And every day that I survive, I thank the Lord that I’m alive. I’ve grown so numb, so cold and hard, From people dying, dead and charred. From dreams so real, I wake at night In sudden screams and fists clenched tight. The sun is down, the day has passed, And rain is falling cold and fast. As darkness comes to steal the day, I hang my head and sorely pray. I pray I’ll see the light again And all my friends and countrymen, That none of us will have to die And for a place that’s warm and dry. I pray my dreams are kind to me With bygone scenes from memory; Or just the time to spend at rest, Without those dreams, so death-obsessed. A flash of light! The crack of lead! A zinging sound right by my head! I soiled myself in my alarm And dive to save myself from harm. I'm jolted out of heart-felt prayer To search the night for what’s out there, To mourn the loss of yesterday When time seemed slow to pass away. For yesterday’s in dream’s embrace, The fantasy or foreign place, From which I’ve left and come alone And time’s the trail I'm riding on. ©1972 by Jim Fish