Would I Become Prometheus?

Written While Watching Notre Dame Burning

 

If I had a time machine

The Notre Dame cathedral in Paris on fire, April 15th, 2019. Photo credit Thierry Mallet AP REX Shutterstock

I could travel to Paris

to just before the fire broke

in Notre Dame,

I’d tell the Parisians

I’d travelled back from the future

to warn them,

and people would know

that a fire was about to start

and they’d be prepared.

 

But then someone would say

“my son died in a car accident last week,

can you take us back

so that I can stop him from going out?”

 

And someone else would say

“my mum died from cancer last year,

can you take us back so that I can

tell her I love her?”

 

Someone would want to go back

to September 10, 2001,

someone would want to kill Hitler,

or warn Abraham Lincoln.

 

And back further;

the Reformation,

the Spanish Inquisition.

 

And all the dead would return

and ask to see their ancestors

and tell me about wars

that they had fought.

 

Someone would want to meet Jesus.

 

How far would I

be asked to go back?

Would I have to invent the wheel,

or demonstrate fire?

Would I become Prometheus?