In an infinite cosmos
everything is possible
speculates Stephen Hawking
So in a parallel universe to ours
was killed at 16
when his bike brakes failed
going down hill
cycling home from school
in busy traffic.
Another at 9 fell from houseroof
climbing up via cracked gutter
to his favourite chimney stack reading perch
and spent the rest of that ‘you's short life
in a wheelchair.
Another ‘you' didn't have that attack of fear
and did go forward to collect the prize
from the BBC producer
ensuring that ‘you' was accepted as a BBC trainee
leading to a glistening career
in radio and television
or maybe to a nervous breakdown at age 28 or 36 or 42.
In a different timeline
a ‘you' who did learn to drive
accessing all the freedom
to travel where and when
a flexibility opening up new possibilities
giving new confidence
before a crumpled end in a car crash
accidental or deliberate.
Another ‘you' did marry a girl from money
did not get angry with her and break it off
and that jump-started a high-powered career
with designer house
But, then, there's his doppelganger in the world next door
who remained stable
and died respected
at a ripe old age
another was stillborn like his older brother
In a bombing raid
When the nuclear bomb dropped
By a frenzied drug addict looking for cash
By a suicide bomber
There's even several ‘you's who settled on one career path
and went for just that
instead of jumping between different ambitions.
For one it was journalism
using experience of his first job
to apply for one higher up the ladder
as one should,
wrote freelance features on the side
to open new doors
which he then went through
instead of ignoring
and stepped upwards
to quality nationals
but failed in marriage after marriage
died childless (saved those anxieties)
but not discontented.
Any number of ‘you's
who had the natural self-confidence
needed to succeed
and exploited them all
for the gain of himself his family and society
for material and psychological benefits.
Is this supposed to offer consolation
at having drawn the short straw
of life in this world
rather than the worse one next door
or one ravaged by war, plague and famine
or where ‘you' is an intelligent slimy scaly lizard?
or just confirmation
that any ‘you'
in any universe
can be as easily ignored, dismissed, eliminated
as we suspected all along?
After all, he's only one of millions.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem