Roller Coaster

How can one be alive
and sit out the roller coaster ride?

I ask myself this when I reflect
on missed opportunities
declined invitations to dinner parties
times when I did not dance
even though I liked the music.

To stay behind and observe others
is the solitary state of the poet
using all senses to capture ordinary scenes
of people trying
and failing
and falling apart
these fumbled encounters
express the essence of who we are.

When I put pen to paper
I, too, have a place among the living
a purpose
for the poet comprehends
after centuries of watching from afar
the poem will be all that is left
to prove our existence.

You do not have to be a poet
but if you sit out the roller coaster ride
what will you do
to feel your heart pounding
and know that you’re alive?

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