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by Lionel E. Deimel


If it doesnít work,

If I do it wrong,

If I write too little,

Or I talk too long,

If Iím not dressed right,

Or if Iím late,

Is it me,

Or is it fate?


If the coffeeís bitter,

If the dipís too hot,

If dessert is tasteless,

But the waterís not,

If the party guests

Detest eggplants,

Is it me,

Or is it chance?


If the phone billís missing.

If the clickerís gone,

Fluffyís collarís lost

In the neighborsí lawn,

If the tableís piled

With old magazines,

Is it me,

Or is it genes?


If my calls arenít returned,

If my hard drive squeaks,

If my toilet runs,

And my garbage reeks,

If Iím drowned in paper,

And my gas capís stuck,

Is it me,

Or is it luck?


Does it not matter

If Iím rich or smart,

If I play the game,

And I do my part?

Am I in control

Or just have choice?

Does life play fair?

Do I get a voice?


Dark cloud with lightning


At times, we all are frustrated by the tenuous connection between what we do and what life deals us. Whereas there are autobiographical elements in this poem, I have never felt quite so besieged  all at once as the text might suggest. This poem was written in March 2001. I made minor punctuation changes 10/5/2005.

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