2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 21

For today’s prompt, write a second thoughts poem. You could have second thoughts about something you’ve done or thought in the past. You could write about someone (or something) else having second thoughts. Or you could even take a poem you wrote earlier in the month and flip it in a new direction.

Here’s my attempt:

“Maybe we weren’t children”

And the street may have actually been a river
that we didn’t swim to the middle. Instead, we
clung to roots on the edges and hid in small nooks
while others passed in their boats and called out for us.
Even we did not understand why we could not
respond. Our fears threatened to drown us completely
as the water rose and even now still rises.


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Tweet your April PAD Challenge progress on Twitter with the #aprpad hashtag.


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289 thoughts on “2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 21

  1. Dennis Wright

    Perhaps I should not, then;

    taken my time in dreams
    when I soon left my teens
    at a time they became someone,
    and entered the world at 21,

    or taken my other ground
    where few could be found
    where power was a scheme
    and hope alone, was the dream,

    or stood by the red bud tree
    when most could not see
    the blue and white flowering
    of a blooming lilac tree.

    But to find the worth,
    one must till the earth,
    and dig in virgin soil.
    Ancestors gave me this toil.

  2. Susan M. Bell

    "Could Have Been"

    What could have been
    If I’d taken another path
    Maybe gone this way
    Instead of that

    Where would I be
    If I’d made a different decision
    Followed another road
    And a different drummer’s beat

    Too many questions
    Not enough answers
    There’s no time for regret
    And what might have been

  3. K Kerns

    21 April Second Thought

    There you are across the room
    Pretending to work hard
    (like you’re all that)
    But you don’t work hard
    You work hardly
    Leaves too much to be desired
    To even start with you
    So I exercise my rights
    Instead of lodging complaints
    I’ll deal you,
    The professional with an unprofessional attitude,
    Quietly ~

  4. mallora

    Second thoughts
    on their own
    just by nature,
    seem a rather rare thing to find.
    It’s not just the would-haves
    or could-haves or should-haves,
    But the fact that first thought came to mind!

  5. ideurmyer

    Don’t Think Twice

    What do you do when you’ve left all
    Family, friends, fame, ad infinitum
    God says irrevocable is the call
    Sometimes it becomes lonely road
    Lift up your head unto the hills
    You made the right choice, He bears load

  6. Laura Kayne


    The truth will set you free,
    They say, but bound in chains
    I await their decision.

    I know what I saw,
    The sun in balance
    At the centre of the planets.

    They refuse to see,
    Their beliefs just
    Reflected back upon them.

    I looked up, and out,
    Saw the truth,
    And spoke it aloud.

    Now, they say, I have a choice.
    But freedom is just
    Another word for nothing left to lose.

    If I give them their lies,
    Only I will know the truth,
    But is that one person too many?

    So I must make my decision,
    To take my place in history.
    I must make my stand.

    I will tell the truth,
    No matter what it costs me,
    And trust that this will set me free.

  7. Laurie Kolp

    On Second Thoughts, I’ll Keep My Mouth Shut

    Hey, Mr. Hoarder,
    yeah, I’m talkin’ to you
    with all that tacky furniture
    and stuff stacked high
    out the garage
    onto your driveway.
    Man, when you gonna take down
    that there blue tarp piece of crap
    trashin’ your rooftop and trickin’ the birds
    since Hur’cane Ike blew through?

  8. Diane

    (See "Maybe He Tried to Kill His Wife" from day 11)

    On Second Thought…

    Randy and Elaine lost their house;
    gas leak mushroomed.
    Insurance covers well.

    Elaine said they were fortunate
    Randy’s equipment was at a friend’s house.

    Elaine said Randy’s favorite daughter
    shouldn’t have been there.

    Elaine said Randy’s son annoys him
    and should have been home that day.

    Elaine claimed she barely escaped.

    Elaine said she was shocked
    when Randy revealed his affair.

    Elaine never says she has any
    suspicions about Randy.

    Still, maybe Randy
    didn’t try to kill his wife;
    but Randy’s wife, Elaine,
    wants everyone to think so.

  9. Lexi Flint

    I took a plane to Detroit to say good bye
    to a face I had not yet seen
    It would have been a tragic loss
    to the world if I had let you go.
    My girls greeted me at the DTW gates
    Their support I could never repay
    I cried all night long
    For the Lord to hear my plight
    And He made the sun shine on us that day
    Upon a lonely flight
    HE told me to be strong
    on that plane from Chicago
    How that one hour felt so long but
    God gave me the answers
    He told me to carry on
    Eight months later I held you in my arms
    Your father by my side
    You were so beautiful
    so precious
    so small
    I knew no matter how hard the road ahead
    I had made the right decision
    to keep my precious child.

  10. shann palmer

    Starting here, Starting now

    I won’t dwell anymore in the valley
    of the shadow, following some axiom
    I never did understand

    in the first place
    I have been too green, too kind,
    trusting pretty faces, soft-eyed wonder boys

    who like an easy tongue,
    while they misjudge my considerable wit,
    pretend they outplay me..

    Wisdom and age have lifted my spirit
    to a higher place, brought round
    to appreciate lesser truths.

    As this body betrays, I find fear
    slips under the rug for now,
    to wait, knowing time will turn again.

  11. Dare Gaither


                            I see            2 souls
                          dancing        together
                           I see 2           lives
                            sha        -       red
                        I see years     spent making
                   a meaning and   purpose and a
                reason to get up each morning and
            hope and dream   to    believe there is
         so       much more   in     living than      me
                   alone I see    an     open heart
                  giving all to    a       process that
               is greater than            indvidual wants
             yet fulfills each           one’s needs nurturing
         deepest yearnings            calming deepest fears

               on second thought I just see spilled ink

    (I wrote this the day of the prompt, but it took me this
    long to figure out the formatting! Hope it’s ok to post)

  12. G. Smith

    On second thought, here’s another idea for this prompt… = )


    (c) 2011 – G. Smith (BMI)
    I’m sitting on the front porch all alone tonight,
    Just me and our old dog and this guitar,
    Things have gotten quiet after our big fight,
    And I can’t help but wonder where you are.

    Now I’m not prone for making snap decisions,
    Most times I’m known to stop and think things through;
    So on second thought I wish I’d given a second thought,
    To the second thoughts I had about me and you.

    We got married that first summer out of high school;
    Three years of going steady – it was love at first sight;
    But I, well, I acted like a fool,
    I knew without a single doubt that I was in the right…

    And I’m not prone for making snap decisions,
    Most times I’m known to stop and think things through;
    So on second thought I wish I’d given a second thought,
    To the second thoughts I had about me and you.

    You know what they say:
    The grass is always greener,
    On the other side the next-door neighbor’s fence;
    But trespassing’s more than a
    Relationship misdemeanor,
    And everybody knows that it
    Simply makes no sense…

    And I’m not prone for making snap decisions,
    Most times I’m known to stop and think things through;
    So on second thought I wish I’d given a second thought,
    To the second thoughts I had about me and you.

    Yeah, I wish I had given a second thought,
    To the second thoughts I had about me and you.

  13. Taylor Graham


    Because the sheep gathered,
    tails to the wind as if clamped
    to the northeast corner of the shed

    as oak boughs bunched and
    intertwisted, high grasses massed
    and knotted in the field

    under clouds steel-gray as if
    riveted to the sky’s belly, and wind
    commingled with small rain

    and hail, thunder clapping closer;
    a chain of lightning
    pinned to the opposite ridge,

    all elements in compact
    against a tight-zipped parka
    and snug-laced boots,

    I did not join you
    for the Spring Flower Walk
    at the gardens.

  14. Mariel Dumas


    I thought it was a comet soaring through the night;
    A piercing glowing light of fire
    That seemed only too true to hold; but could not touch
    But when I see bottles move off ledges without movement
    When the earth sinks you in to your heels
    And you see nothingness in moons passing cows on lightning fields
    I gather it was you who flew by
    On a warm Christmas night
    To fare me well
    To keep me amazed
    By and by

  15. Jay Sizemore

    On My Death Bed

    There will be no second thoughts.
    There will be no second thoughts.
    There will be no second thoughts.

    There will be no second shot.
    There will be no second shot.
    There will be no second shot.

  16. stephanie barbe hammer

    nice villanelle Lynn Burton!

    i think i’d better
    rethink that thing
    i almost did but didn’t do —
    or else i did it, but did it wrong
    or else i didn’t do it but meant to
    or else i forgot it
    unless i put it on my list
    of things to almost do.

  17. Virginia Snowden VSBryant

    Maybe I made a Mistake

    When you called I said goodbye
    Told you I found another guy
    I left you lonely and I cried
    I thought I found happiness, but instead I died
    Days got bad, nights were worst
    Still I couldn’t shake you, I never had the heart to truly say goodbye
    Maybe all other choices was simple a lie

  18. Laura Hohlwein

    Or Not

    I could take him back.
    Him, meaning ________
    with ________ meaning
    any of them.

    I could get married.
    I could learn to sew and visit his kids in the rental
    or prison or bring plastic chairs for the porch
    and share pictures of the rescue cat.
    I could prepare taxes and vote Republican
    I could arrive to the airport four hours early.
    I could cook steaks and macaroni salad.
    I could talk and talk and talk
    on the phone, by the curb, anywhere
    to anyone, for hours.

    I could be just be there.
    I could look out windows
    like a wife.
    A lot.

    I could wait for him to come home
    Or wait for him to leave.

    I could take him back.
    Him, meaning ________
    with ________ meaning
    any of them.

    I could still have somebody else’s life.

  19. Lynn Burton

    My attempt reads kind of choppy, but it’s an attempt nonetheless. And I’d edited it, but still managed to miss something. "I planned to write a villanelle today" in one of the lines should be "I planned to pen a villanelle today."

  20. Lynn Burton

    On Second Thought

    I planned to pen a villanelle today.
    Of all the forms, I had a second thought
    about what I would write, what I would say.

    My initial idea had gone astray
    now missing from its’ original spot.
    I planned to pen a villanelle today.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if my brain obeyed?
    Wouldn’t it be nice if it did what sought?
    About what I would write, what I would say.

    However I can get the words to stay
    will be the challenging part and hard fought.
    I planned to write a villanelle today.

    They swirl and then blur, the images frayed.
    I reach out, but they don’t want to be caught,
    about what I would write, what I would say.

    Hopefully, they will soon come out and play.
    These priceless flickers of hope can’t be bought.
    I planned to pen a villanelle today
    about what I would write, what I would say.

  21. Scott Mesrobian

    At the Car

    I stood next to the car
    with the keys in my hand.
    My heart was pounding like
    never before, with the
    thought of her voice singing
    in my soul. Her smile had
    greeted me with warmth and
    she welcomed me with an
    open hand. Her touch sent an
    electric shock through me,
    and my face was on fire.

    I stood next to the car,
    wishing I had said the
    things that all boys wish they
    could remember to say
    if given another chance.

    I stood next to the car
    and turned around to go
    back to see the girl who
    would become my forever love.

  22. Rose Anna Hines


    In my garden there are dozen’s of tomato volunteers
    which had sprouted up from tomato’s that fell off
    last years tomatoes.

    Although, this years crops
    have been rotated and planted including tomatoes,
    I just couldn’t just pull out all those healthy strong volunteers.
    I thought, "I will just plant some of them for additional tomatoes
    and carefully pull the rest up to repot for friends.
    That would be se green.

    I started my task this morning
    carefully digging up weeds around the tomatoes
    then gently lifting young tomato plants out of loosened ground
    unwinding the delicate tendrils of their roots.

    Mid afternoon,
    turning the soil preparing it for the planting.
    grubs, larve, earwigs, lots of pill bugs were unearthed
    munching on roots and leaves.

    "You suckers and leeches snacking on my plants!"
    My hands reached down, picked them off the roots and leaves
    put them on a stepping stone and smashed them with my left foot.
    Over and over.

    Then I reached over to transplant more tomato plants
    and said, "I’ll be here all afternoon doing this, enough is enough.
    How many do I need to give away to make it OK"
    So, instead of delicately pulling one out and replanting it at a time,
    I began pulling out hand full’s and throwing them on the compost pile.
    Over and over.

    Time and anger,
    turned me from a gentle planter of seeds
    and harvester of organic heirloom vegetables
    to a Murderer

  23. Taylor Graham


    This lady in crimped auburn tresses,
    and gowned in satins and lace –

    isn’t an English countess
    the same species as a scullery maid?

    And that black-haired beauty –
    surely a French duchesse is equipped

    with the same tongue, larynx, lungs
    as a farm girl calling to her hogs.

    You, hand-laborer by trade,
    wander among them amazed at flesh-

    and-blood goddesses, courtly
    objects of desire. How you long

    to turn them into marble statues
    in your mind – loveliness to look at,

    never wishing to touch; distant
    as Aurora if she were a burning star.

  24. Marie Elena


    The magnitude of what lies ahead.

    Imploring, beseeching … any other way … any other way …

    To the point of great drops of blood.

    That for which He came, now swiftly approaching.

    “Will you not stay awake with me?

    Lying in wait, ready to betray with love’s kiss.

    Man of Sorrows
    Tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin.

    Acquainted with Grief
    “… and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

    “… for there is no other name by which we may be saved.”

    “Not my will, but Thine.”

  25. Karen Legg

    Oh, so glad I checked back in this morning…de, I’ll be pouring you a cup whenever we gather!
    Pearl, I love your poem on ‘eyecatchers,’ and you’re exactly write (right!), but we can only try and try.

  26. Doug


    life regurgitated,
    yesterday vomited onto
    an embarrassed plate

    a small side salad
    called regret

    and the cold glare
    of those dead condiments :
    time and options

    you know
    that you shouldn’t
    pick over these bones

    you know that you
    picked your teeth clean
    of those shredded choices

    you also know
    that the flavours tempt

    so let’s just freshen up
    that salad with some today sauce,
    pretend that it’s palatable, wholesome

    ©Douglas Pugh , April MMXI

  27. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 21
    Write a second thoughts poem.

    To My Unregrettable (A Rondeau)

    One thing I can’t regret is you,
    even on days of bluest blues.
    The best way all my sorrows drown–
    diving in eyes of deepest brown,
    wisdom of ages in that hue.

    Laced fingers on gearshift hold true
    hearts, traveling, loving the view.
    The one on whom I most can count,
    one thing I can’t regret is you.

    Rash words, broken promises I rue,
    encouragement that I withdrew.
    Leaning inward, not out when I’m down.
    My joy for writing so late re-found.
    Many moments in life I’d redo.
    One thing I can’t regret is you.

  28. Penny Henderson


    As it turned out, I had it wrong.
    But man! The things I saw him do!
    I thought he’d explode them inside,
    or something…re-take the country.
    I was in the crowd, not yelling,
    not asking for Barabas,
    just watching for the excitement.
    Through it all I was expecting…
    I don’t know exactly what.
    He never disclaimed "Messiah".
    Right up to the end I waited.
    I knew he didn’t have to die.
    But he did. At last I got it.
    "My kingdom is not of this world."
    The words assailed my reeling mind,
    and I only saw one way out.

  29. Cameron Steele

    De and Walt – Thank you for the compliments. I do have a blog, but I mainly use it to examine issues that I write about in my other job as a police reporter…maybe I’ll start a poetry blog one of these days. Either way, thaanks for the encouragement. I always love reading your stuff and most everything on Poetic Asides!


  30. Yoly

    What’s in Your Palate?

    Were we summer sprawled on leftover frost
    from some previous winter? I don’t know why,
    as it rains reddish frond, I suppose on the quality
    of our season. Is this the kind of thing that stuffs
    you in its pipe, watches you rise and head
    on into an invisible world, where questions
    just might be waiters to patrons who drink
    ice-water while a slice of lemon is afloat,
    they eat nothing
    and wait
    until someone whips a fifth season?

  31. Salvatore Buttaci


    once I lived my life
    everyday convinced
    that luck was mine to keep.
    I never would get jinxed.
    now I’m having second thoughts
    as I head towards my demise.
    will I wear an angel’s wings
    or burn like Satan’s fries.
    So while I am well
    and still quite able,
    I ought to lay
    my cards on the table,
    confess my sins
    both great and small,
    make clean the slate
    so when I fall
    from this life to the next,
    I won’t be hexed.