Margin Notes

I wish I had made
more margin notes
as I moved through my life.
So that looking back
I would know,
if not what mattered,
what I thought of it then.
The sort of thing
that would easily lend
itself to the tidiness
of memoir.
All those phases like
“and then I knew,”
or “I always wanted to be…”
or “I had this plan from
the beginning.”
Quick summations that
would help me deceive myself
into believing that my life
has been anything but a
random bouncing off walls.
My friend calls it one
step forward and two back,
but in my life it has been
heading East for three days,
and then veering south
and then southeast,
then east again.
There is a slow progress
of sorts, but a complete
loss of memory of where
I was going and why,
what changed my mind
and, hence, my direction,
so that I don’t notice
how many times I shift back
onto old ground.

I wish I had made more
notes, or that the ones
I had made were more useful,
I am weary of finding myself
again and again someplace I
have already been, and just now
realized by the mileage marker.