If we could travel back in time from here
to see past selves and give our sage advice,
most likely we’d meet disbelief and fear
in such attempts to make decisions twice.
But if our past selves listened to us now,
the paradox created might destroy
the us who tried to change things anyhow
and render moot the diff’rence we’d deploy.
We would not try to visit with our pasts
to alter our lives’ present histories –
no reason we should play iconoclasts.
Our motivations would be mysteries,
since, once we fix the things once thought amiss,
to change the past would be antithesis.
The grandfather paradox simplified in a Shakespearean sonnet: