Wrong Turn by Luci Shaw
MARGINALIA • SKIP TO THE POEM
This time next year, I hope to be in France finally. I wrote this in my journal more than two years ago. I’ve been planning it for so long, but it seems it’s taking me awhile to get there.
And for good reason. Because it was a journey I was not meant to take. Because the universe, in its infinite wisdom, had other plans for me.
M. said I have angels over my shoulder. E. said I dodged a bullet. But can you imagine the relief? The breath that you’ve been holding for so long, and the rush of blood to the head. It almost felt like gods held me in the palm of their hands and kept me there until I was safe.
Trust the timing of your life. You may get tired of hearing me say this. But I swear by it. I swear by it.
Or perhaps it’s the natural chaos of events that comprise our life, but right now I am exactly where I’m meant to be. Don’t get me wrong—not being able to make that trip devastated me. It was supposed to change my life—but what I didn’t know then was that the true shift would be to miss the flight, setting off a chain reaction that would lead to this present moment, where I am writing you, and letting you know: it will be okay.
I took a wrong turn the other day.
A mistake, but it led me to the shop where I found
the very thing I’d been searching for.
With my brother I opened a packet
of old letters from my mother and saw a side of her
that sweetened what had been deeply sour.
Later that day the radio sang a song from
a time when I was discovering love,
and folded me into itself again.
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This poem appeared in What the Light Was Like: Poems by Luci Shaw, published by WordFarm, 2006. Shared here with profound gratitude.
Read more works by Luci Shaw • Find books by this poet • Or view my library
Explore poems in pursuit of: journeys • mistakes • grace • Or browse the index
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