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The Phantoms Of The Past

written by: Ian Fletcher



If I had the chance to walk
down the corridors of time
certain things in my past
could be fully set to rights.
Then being nobody’s fool
I would stand up to
the playground bullies
would not take lightly
the cruelty of peers
or the petty tyrannies
of home and school.
Putting ice in my heart
I’d be impervious to
whims of feckless girls
or the faithlessness
of fair-weather friends
and having purged myself
of the myriad figures that
have bruised my soul
return robust and whole.

You can’t change the past
so why play such scenes
as these out in your mind
as if time from long ago
may thus be redeemed?
If you could bring them
before you now would you
likewise condemn and judge?

My contemporaries I suppose
would be a ragged bunch
having borne as I the trials
of adulthood being buffeted
by events along life’s course
from youth to careworn age
while that older generation
dead and gone would need
resurrection to be able to join
this motley congregation
so if they could be conjured
here I would most likely
have such pity on their lot
that I’d forgive and forget
and consign them one and all
with my blessings to oblivion.

Then leave these things be
and let bygones be bygones
for your time is not over yet.
Change what can be changed
as life is short and will not last
so be wise and wrestle no more
with these phantoms of the past.

Ian Fletcher

Ian Fletcher

Born and raised in Cardiff, Wales, Ian has an MA in English from Oxford University. He lives in Taiwan with his wife, two daughters and cat. He teaches English in a high school. He has had poems and short stories published in Duane’s PoeTree, Tuck Magazine, Best Poetry, The Ekphrastic Review, 1947 A Literary Journal, Spillwords Press, Dead Snakes, Your One Phone Call, Schlock! Webzine, Short-story.me, Literary Yard, Indian Periodical, Anotherealm, Under the Bed, A Story In 100 Words, Poems and Poetry, Friday Flash Fiction, The Drabble, and in various anthologies.
Ian Fletcher

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