I was wondering…….If by a Simple Twist of Fate,
I was her instead of me.
And I was born to drug addicted parents,
Not by choice, you understand, none of us have a say in our birth.
A Simple Twist of Fate
And I was wondering, what my life would be like, if by
that Simple Twist of Fate
I survived that first year or two, or even three.
Years, of neglect;
nappies not changed,
And even more rare, moments of affection.
I was wondering if I was her instead of me
By that Simple Twist of Fate.
Would I have survived having my body sold ‘on the street’
By my parents to feed their addiction.
I was wondering if I was her instead of me,
Would I too have drowned my pain in the only escape
I knew – the same one they used to drown their demons.
By that Simple Twist of Fate if I was her instead of me.
Would I have her strength, feel her pain, know her fear,
Sense her isolation as she crawls through her adolescence,
Not free of her childhood and yet with no childhood,
With no ground beneath her feet,
With no one there for her
With everyone there to take from her;
From her body, from her soul.
A Simple Twist of Fate puts her and not me
That fate of birth;
That fate of opportunity;
That fate of nurturing;
That fate of belief;
That fate of security.
That fate of birth
And if I was her instead of me, I was just wondering, would I harden my soul against the world as I sat for seven years, contemplating the Simple Twist of Fate and faced my
I was just wondering, if I was her instead of me,
would I emerge bitter and fuelled with anger or would I, if I were her instead of me,
emerge like her, with hope despite the pain or rejection by her family ,
with thoughts to a future in spite of her past,
with humility and wisdom despite no ‘schooling’
I was just wondering, if,
by a Simple Twist of Fate
I was her instead of me, if I could now,
Speak of the pain of the past
Speak of the rejection of the present
Speak of the hope for the future
As my friend does.
My friend, who instead of me by that Simple Twist of Fate
Walked a journey so different to mine, and not because she, when she was young decided:
“When I grow up I want to live on the streets, be an addict and end up ‘inside’
Rather because of that Simple Twist of Fate.
Did her time for her crime
And finds now, in my world,
That the time for her crime is eternal.
That women pull their handbags closer to their bodies when they learn about her past.
That no one will give her a job.
That accommodation is almost impossible to find.
That she may not volunteer.
That men assume her body is for sale.
That my world sees her as a curiosity, always an outsider, never to be trusted.
That the only place she feels welcome is the place of her past; the place that will put her back
Where she started life; by a Simple Twist of Fate.
By that Simple Twist of Fate, I am me, not her.
And I wonder if it is I who needs the rehabilitation.
The courage and grace to forgive the crime, served by time.
To practice what I ‘preach’: the belief that everyone Really Does Deserve a Second Chance.
And then the strength to live by that code;
To believe it; to work it; to support it;
For surely I know that if she were me, by that Simple Twist of Fate,
She would offer the hand of grace;
For she, not me, by
That Simple Twist of Fate
Has walked a road of pain so great, that she, not me,
Is filled with love for her fellow man,
Not because they are wealthy,
Not because they are smart,
Not because they are clean, have teeth, combed hair,
But because they are Human;
Almost always doing the best they can with where they are at;
Because of that Simple Twist of Fate.
I was just wondering…………
A Simple Twist of Fate – Joan Baez