„Had“, „Would“ and „Could“

Of three beings that everyone knows, but would like to forget

„Would have“,

an unfortunate-looking, haggard creature, usually plaintively plaintive and grief-stricken, shuffled through the dark streets. It kept monologues on the missed opportunities, the lack of determination and was anxious to emphasize them with powerless, giddy gestures.

He met „would be“,

as upright and wiry as ever, full of defiance and dogmatism. Also, „would be“ self-talk, filled with allegations to God and the world. It paused every few steps, stamping its foot to underline its ongoing complaints, just as a stubborn child does that does not get its way.

They met each other, as so often, gruffly and grudgingly tried to figure out which of them might have been worse off.


That was her cue. The two looked around in this raven-black night and hoped that the third creature would join them in the league. They paused with their lamentation and listened hard to hear the feathery sounds of Could.
A small, jumping up and down light approached them and then they also sounded to their ears: the lofty, expansive steps of „Could“. Large-built, his outline emerged from the darkness, and from close by, that little light in his hand was not as faint as it seemed from afar.

As soon as the creature saw

the other two, it reported with enthusiasm about all the possibilities that offered themselves, about the wishes that had to be realized and about the dreams of the same wad cloud. It spoke of alternatives that needed to be seen and grasped, and colorful images of imagination.

So they stood together, those three who could not do without each other, but who could do nothing with each other.

„If I had been more courageous, it would not always be so difficult“ took turns with: „If only I had the luck of all the others, I would have listened to the advice“. And drowning out this vile valley: „Could I achieve everything! Could I, if only you would keep quiet! Could I if-if-if! „

So passed the darkness of the night

and with the first early dawn the beings parted again. Had shuffled away, murmuring softly was something like: „If only I had accessed when the chance offered …“ Would mate his ways with the defiant pride of one always pressed into the second row.
Could they see them vanishing faintly in the delicate morning glow, and dancing light as a feather, it counted with the fingers of his hand what it could be if-if-if-if …

They would meet again in the next dark, moonless night and tell each other

what would have been, what had and what could.


(c) Petra Milkereit

Dear readers, you visit my page!
This translation of one of my lyrics into English is a try and I am happy if I get feedback!

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