in retrospect

in retrospect perhaps
i should not have made
that two o’clock pot
of joe, even though
my eyelids were drooping
and the dull gray fog
reminded me of the day
we picked our way
along icy city sidewalks
holding steaming mugs
of coffee you’d ground
with cardamom.
in retrospect i wish
i had not been reminded
of all that’s broken down
since then, all we’ve lost
and all we’ve failed
to find, for every
backward-looking gaze
wonders what might
have been had things
somehow gone differently.
in retrospect i have
observed that grief
can do strange things
to the strongest people
and that sometimes
the seeming weakest
have more strength
than even they could
hope to know, though
never of their own doing.
who is to say who else
we would have become?
in retrospect i’ve drained
the pot of coffee
with cardamom.