I Wish I Could Have Been There

I wish I could have been there when God created earth.
I wish I could have been there for Baby Jesus’ birth.
I wish I could have been there when they sailed the ocean blue.
I wish I could have been there to say goodbye to you.  

Seldom does a day go by that I don’t feel the pain
of knowing that the time we shared could never be again.
Although you were my mother, you became my best friend too.
I simply can’t imagine my life lived without you.  

You have set for me a standard that I may never reach.
You demonstrated virtue that I know I cannot teach.
You left behind an emptiness I simply can’t explain.
I hope that all you’ve taught me somehow always will remain.
I couldn’t spare a moment just to hold you by the hand,
and tell you everything you've done made me a better man.
I never seemed to find the time to say what should be said.
It’s sad that things would come along that I would do instead.
A mother seldom gets the praise that she so well deserves.
Not often do we realize how selflessly she serves.
But I will always cherish your unconditional love.
As it had been here on earth or now shines from up above.
I wish I could have been there to see the look upon God’s face
when He found out that heaven had become a better place.
You know I’ll always miss you no matter what I do.
I wish I could have been there to say these things to you.

About this poem

It's sad that when we lose someone, we think of things that should have been said or done. My mom passed away suddenly without notice. I was at work at the time, and I was devastated. She had been my rock. I know she realized how much she meant to me, but I hate myself for not telling her every single day!

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Written on November 09, 2023

Submitted by npirandy on November 09, 2023

1:29 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic heptameter
Characters 1,403
Words 298
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Randy West

I'm 76 years old and a combat veteran from Vietnam. I used to compose poetry while on ambush patrol as a way of staying awake on watch, since falling asleep could be hazardous to my health. I started early in life though, because, as a child, I would write little tidbits to my mom for the heck of it. more…

All Randy West poems | Randy West Books

16 fans

Discuss the poem "I Wish I Could Have Been There" with the community...

  • CarmiPhilander
    Oof, touching stuff, really.
    LikeReply1 month ago
  • npirandy
    Thanks Adam. High praise from one of my favorite poets.
    LikeReply1 month ago
  • adam.gutteridge
    A beautiful poem reminding us all to appreciate the important people in our lives. I couldn’t think of a better, more personal way to honour your mother. Congratulations Randy
    LikeReply1 month ago
  • npirandy
    You are too kind my friend.
    LikeReply2 months ago
  • Philipo
    You are one of the best here. You seem to know how to captivate readers, capture interest and retain it. Congrats.
    LikeReply2 months ago
  • npirandy
    I've said this before, but I have to reiterate the fact that this community of writers is the most genuine and considerate group of people I've ever been associated with. Considering the fact that I turned 77 in October, that's saying a lot. The quality of entries every month transcends my imagination. You all deserve recognition and the utmost respect. Thanks for letting me be a small part of it! 
    LikeReply 42 months ago
  • Vixility
    No doubt at all that the sentiment this poem expresses resonates universally with all its readers … well done and worthy win!
    LikeReply 12 months ago
    • npirandy
      I can always rely on you for kind words whether deserved or not.
      Thanks Buddy
      LikeReply 12 months ago
  • Chrissy.
    Beautiful and heart wrenching at the same time. I can imagine this poem being read at many funerals in the future. And a beautiful tribute to your mother and any mothers deserving such high praise.
    LikeReply2 months ago
    • npirandy
      Thanks Chrissy. Your input is appreciated.
      LikeReply2 months ago
  • emergentauthor
    Really sweet poem. Congrats, Randy, on your win! I respect the admiration you have for your mom. When you have some time, please check out my poem "The Morning Fog," which was a runner up in the competition and "Mother," a poem I wrote about how my dad was more of a mother to me than my mother ever was and is about the bond I have with my dad, who, like your mom, instilled Christian values and principles in my life. I'm very happy that a Christian poem won the contest. I think that that is great! 
    LikeReply2 months ago
  • lovingempath
    Congratulations Randy! Great job!
    LikeReply2 months ago
    • npirandy
      Thanks. I always appreciate your support and kind words. You have been an inspiration.
      LikeReply 12 months ago
    • lovingempath
      Thank you Randy. You are a worthy gem :).
      LikeReply2 months ago
  • xmasday65
    The rhythm and thought stayed consistent throughout. I could follow the feelings being portrayed. A heartfelt poem. Good writing
    LikeReply2 months ago
    • npirandy
      Thanks for your support. It was, in fact, VERY heartfelt.
      LikeReply2 months ago
  • ujwalsoni
    A reminder to treasure our mothers while we still can. Written with great emotion and truth.
    LikeReply2 months ago
    • npirandy
      You Re sooo right!
      LikeReply2 months ago
  • saayyddeee
    Honestly I really felt this poem was really well written & the person who wrote this definitely felt what they had to say. Definitely had me emotional. I feel like this is something a lot of people can feel but never really think about too often. 
    LikeReply2 months ago
    • npirandy
      Far too often, we think about things too late.
      LikeReply2 months ago
  • rlongden
    Something most all of us can relate to. Well done.
    LikeReply2 months ago
    • npirandy
      Thanks, I appreciate it.
      LikeReply2 months ago
  • LinYoest
    I like how the author balanced the sweetness of his own and his Mother’s love, with his sadness at not telling her more often and especially not being there when she died.
    LikeReply 12 months ago
    • npirandy
      You felt exactly what I was hoping for!
      Thanks Lin
      LikeReply 12 months ago
    • LinYoest
      Such a lovely poem. I’m absolutely thrilled it got 1st Place!
      LikeReply2 months ago
    • npirandy
      You're sweet, but probably not as thrilled as I was.
      LikeReply 22 months ago
  • Soulwriter
    She's always there, although out of sight. You can still tell her how you feel. Thanks for sharing your words with us all. True and good.
    LikeReply3 months ago
    • npirandy
      Your kind words are always appreciated.
      LikeReply2 months ago


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"I Wish I Could Have Been There" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 2 Mar. 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/173361/i-wish-i-could-have-been-there>.

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