But yesterday I was a child
And bounced my ball against our stoop
Without a care, without a fear,
Warmed by endless summer’s sun.
Life lay before me, clean and new,
A canvas for unpainted dreams,
Its colours yet a mystery –
What wonders would my brush create?
But yesterday I was a youth
And silent sat as teachers droned,
Pond’ring what the future held –
What would I do, and what become?
Soon the first brushstroke would begin
To paint the picture of my life.
Could my hand slip and mar the work
And fail to form a masterpiece?
Now years have passed me quickly by,
The painting simple, framed and hung,
And gazing back upon my life
I wonder if the dreams are o’er.
Is there a canvas yet to paint?
Though I am old, is there yet time
To start again, to try again?
To choose another choice anew?
And welling up within my heart
I feel the child that once I was,
And list’ning closely seem to hear
The ball yet bouncing ‘gainst our stoop.
Yes, yes! it says. There is yet time.
Come play! come dream in summer’s sun!
For many canvases has life –
Take up your brush – begin to paint!
Mark Diaczun is an English teacher at College Prep International in Montreal. He has long believed that traditional poetry and self expression through verse need greater attention in our classrooms. For many years he has privately written both religious and secular verse, although this is the first time he has shared his simple attempts.