What Might Have Been

Written by: john mcmahon


i plucked a string;
it rang through me
like a hook through
a fish.

i was hooked on
the fine 
the way the wood
was cut.

i was convinced
that the hollow
inside contained
a million dreams.

if i could only 
reach them.


christmas came
in a whorl-wind
of crinkling paper
and tinsel.
i opened one
of my presents
to find a guitar;
it sang to me
in secret tones.

i knew there
and then,
we would be
friends forever.

i had to bring out
the best
in my six string

so i conversed
with my six string 
friend until
my fingers burned,

i didn’t wish to
cool the flame.


time changed things
as it always does.

i grew tired of the
harmony we shared.

my music books

and slipped into 
other pages of life.

now you sit in the corner
like a naughty child.

i watch you with dreams
now fading

into the screams
of what might have been.