We are fortunate to live in a land where we are born and grow up free
Free to select what path our life will take and choose each possibility.
Yet I often wonder how much freedom we possess, not over-dramatize,
Or if our lives are a bit more predetermined than we first realize.
For instance there are two important facts on which no one can deny
We don’t choose when we come into this world and we don’t choose when we die.
We didn’t choose our fathers or decide upon our mothers.
And we certainly didn’t select our sisters or our brothers.
We didn’t determine the color of our skin, or how tall we will one day be
Why we didn’t choose how we look at all, that’s family history.
Although some of our tastes evolve as into adulthood we all bloom
Aren’t most of our likes and dislikes established while still guests in our mother’s womb?
If I hadn’t been born with Mom and Dad’s genes would my baldness be this extreme
I may have even liked olives or beer or, God forbid, hated Neapolitan ice cream.
Is my love of chocolate and all kinds of treats a choice I made willingly
Or is it part of my genetic make-up...part of my sweet destiny?
(By the way if many of our propensities come straight from our creation
Doesn’t it make sense we also don’t get to choose our sexual orientation?)
If my parent’s hadn’t moved to Twinsburg would my life have paid the same dividends?
Would I have had the same education, same experiences, made the same friends?
It seems to me that all our choices, everything we have amassed
Is influenced or driven by the voices of our past.
And though many things about us are determined from above
We do choose the people who inspire us...the people whom we love.
True the voices of the past will always be there but with inspiration as our guide
Our destiny can be altered, our future modified.
As I watch the world go by I find that inspiration in my friends and family
I’m happy with the choices I’ve made and content with my destiny.
And I look eagerly onward to whatever die destiny will cast
As I blend my inspirations with the voices of my past.
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
Comments about this poem (Destiny by Jim Yerman )
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
- The Black Child, Matthias Pantaleon
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost