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.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

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. PSC in CT

    It’s still a little rough, but the next prompt’s been posted, and I need to move on, so…:

    The Last Goodbye – Recanted
    (letter left at a gravestone)

    I won’t be joining you today.
    You will be pleased, I know,
    the very picture of elation,
    mollifed, appeased, relieved
    by this repudiation.
    Your message of the other day,
    my dear, was very clear:
    bluster winds and thrashing sea –
    I knew that these were aimed at me.
    Could feel your furious frustration;
    taste your sea salt bitter tears,
    for promises and dreams forgotten,
    unfulfilled, should I pursue
    my selfish plans – I understand your fears.
    I don’t unsay my love for you,
    still wounded by your loss, regret;
    but, stopped by here today to say
    I won’t be joining you
    just yet.

  2. mbschied

    Regretful regrets

    Two seconds in
    and I already rue
    the verbal hemorrhage
    that has brought me to this place

    Revealing the cache of secrets
    hidden in the dark and twisty
    places of my soul
    has leeched the power of control
    from me

    and given it to you

    Now you know

    Now you see

    Now you understand
    why I am here in this
    pitiable state

    handing you the keys
    to my vaulted core
    with no more than
    two salty trails
    running in protest

    Crying "no more time for regrets"

  3. Beth Camp

    Second thoughts

    I have chosen these early mornings to write.
    The rest of the day flies away, balanced between
    commitment and routine obligation, yet,
    now I wonder why I stop —
    as if I had nothing to say?
    As if my days are limitless?
    As if tomorrow, when the faint moon fades into day,
    will never come?
    Second thoughts, I have not these,
    My thoughts now are memories
    of travel to those dreamed of, far-away places,
    then home, our child grown to womanhood and
    making music of her own. I know
    in my bones that each day is a gift to squander.
    I cannot hold them in my hands.
    I cannot taste tomorrow.

  4. Claudia Schönfeld

    Tarzan & Jane

    maybe we got lost amongst these trees,
    between words, growing high, High
    until we couldn’t see each other
    because of
    what grew in our way,
    way beyond sugar coat dance and
    forest romance. But then,

    we carve our names to rough bark
    until we bleed silent
    with juices of sun dotted tree dreams
    and grow to where splintering sky
    sparks the fireworks of what could have been

  5. Melissa Hager

    vivienne b. – but missed youth has made you a lovely poet! I want my kids to read yours.

    Jo Lightfoot – loved "Double Take"

    Angel V – I know what you should do. Continue to write poetry. "Encore" is stirring.

    Peace to your father, Linda S-W. How difficult for you.

    Rob Halpin – "tree receives hug from fenders". My son just finished driver’s ed and will read your poem. Thank you. Loved that line.

    de – "Shoulda, Woulda and Coulda" made me laugh!

    Nancy P – My father did ask me on the church steps on my first go round, "Do you really want to do this?" Oh, the second thoughts I didn’t have (and maybe shoulda). Of course, I like where I am and I may not have gotten here otherwise! BTW, did you get your Alex Muse?

    Melissa R F – I tear up for "’Second’ Thoughts"

    Patricia A H – Ha ha ha! for "My Opinion"

  6. Carole Katsantoness

    Until Later

    Never a problem knowing
    right from wrong,
    A real dilemma when two
    rights belong.
    Gray area appears, compromise
    is a must,
    one oozes a midget of inappropriate-

    On second thought, the burden of
    indecision is always greater than
    putting off the application until

  7. Walt Wojtanik

    Heiberg, I don’t know what God was thinking,
    but I’m glad of how it turned out. Short and sweet. I like this one.

    Ben Thomas, you’ve got a "voice" on you. Knocking me out.

    Shannon, noticing you lately as well.

    Happy to be residing on Janet Planet. You are ever so uplifting in your words and praise (and words of praise). Raising a glass to your class!

    Buddah, same can be said for you. "El Mosk" is like the "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval". Glad you’re offering your fineness in word and deed.

    Cresta, Tilly, Tracy – all your works are adding a nice touch to this place. It’s like fresh flowers in the morning. Glad you’re all aboard.

  8. Marian Veverka

    Walt thanks for the mention – as "A visitor from a previous generation" it’s hard to imagine growing up with TV, Rock music, a booming economy –
    shopping malls, airplane travel, – all that post-modern stuff.
    Thanks for your patience when I dip back into "Way back when.."

  9. G. Smith

    (A Lantern)
    (c) 2011 – G. Smith
    is probably not
    such a good idea, given,
    what happened last

  10. Debra Cochran

    "Walking Away"

    I got the letter from you yesterday
    Held it in my hands
    while reading your insincerities,
    disguised in flattery–

    For a moment I thought I would
    respond — but crumpled the pages
    up and threw them
    in the fire.

    Your love was never mine.
    It had to spend all Its time
    with you.

    And I am free to be
    And I am free to live

    And Time cushions me now–
    as I walk away.

  11. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Thank you to De and Jerry " The Raven" you linger as your alter Chev, to me…
    (no not "Nuts" or " Nutsie" though so cute..)

    On this day of solemnity for. so many…. grateful for the ability, the desire, and the community where we all walk in the common love of words….

  12. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Second Thoughts on Eye Catchers

    Poems are not meant to be quickly scanned
    Like hardshaking with muddied hand a strained pan
    Eye catchers indeed! Hubris of the highest degree
    Besides such commenting does not fit satisfactorily
    It contains a flaw as big as a canyondownintopull
    Poetry is each word slowly savored sweet on the tongue until full
    Eye Catchers indeed, scanning fast here and there just to see
    Words, fragment lines that jump out just at me
    The fallacy here is that one writing fuck repeatedly
    Would by nature of this system perhaps have me not Buddah’sMEsee
    Or Michele’s " quivering thoughts" or " aching soul"or Rob stunning second, Cameron flesh or all of Sara M. and Sara V.

    So in this morning I wake and have not yet figured out
    The conundrum between yearning to each and all savor silent and deeply and as well as oxymoronically
    Shout out!

    along with a thank you to Buddah who might have nailed the problem with his mention list!
    As Charlie Brown might have so succinctly stated this frustration ARGGGGGH!!

    With all your words tumbling within becoming part of me…. I humbly thank you….know you have been read
    and greatly appreciated….

    Happy Poeming all….
    PKP …. whose lingering alternate selves as former teacher of English and current psychoanalyst are creating this huge need to honor, validate and appreciate as she herself acknowledges so enjoying!

    To this day….where others have inevitable thoughts of far more lofty challenges….I retreat in humility and leave behind my good intentions…..

  13. Cresta McGowan

    "It Seemed"

    It seemed I made a difference
    for you, in your life.
    Dug underneath a hardened surface,
    of struggles, of strife.
    But proof is on the paper,
    that you didn’t give to me.
    A painful said reminder
    of broken harmony.
    What I can’t understand,
    what I still fail to see….
    Why is the one still caring not you, but me?

  14. Tilly Bud

    I re-wrote three poems. Here’s one:

    A Regret

    I’m never rudely dressed.
    I’ve an uninflated chest.
    I don’t get dirty jests.
    I’m emotionally repressed.
    I always do my best.

    I’ve never minded these things yet,
    But there’s one thing I do regret:
    Please don’t think I’m funnin’ –
    I wish I was a burping woman.

  15. Tracy Davidson


    Perhaps I
    shouldn’t have turned left
    that morning
    in late March
    when our two cars collided
    and we swapped numbers.

    Perhaps I’d
    still be single now
    if some voice
    inside me
    had whispered into my ear:
    "For God’s sake, turn right!"

  16. vivienne blake

    Second Thoughts

    Stupid decisions have littered my life,
    from thinking I was adult at sixteen,
    leaving school and working for a living,
    marrying too young before achieving anything.
    I regret the world I didn’t see,
    and now, too late, will never know;
    the fun I didn’t have when young,
    bogged down in a marriage
    I didn’t know was wrong for me.
    There’s plenty that I don’t regret
    but a little patience, wisdom , common sense
    would not have come amiss.

  17. Tanja Cilia

    Everybody Says Nobody Says

    Everybody says Nobody says that
    Any more.
    But what Nobody says is that Everybody says
    The same thing over and over again
    Because a Somebody won’t admit he’s a Nobody
    And a Nobody thinks he’s Somebody.
    Somebody says that’s right.
    Nobody says it’s wrong.
    Somebody says it’s wrong.
    Nobody says it’s right.
    Whom shall we believe?
    Somebody says Nobody thinks so.
    Nobody says Somebody thinks so.
    But that that is, is.
    You cannot change that whether
    You are a Somebody or a Nobody.
    On second thoughts…
    Maybe you can.

  18. Joseph Beckman

    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.

    Like Me (On Second Thoughts)
    I think I
    people to be
    with other people,’s

    © April 18, 2011 by Joseph Beckman

  19. Gretchen Gersh Whitman

    PAD 2011- April 21
    Prompt: Second thoughts

    Her day’s to do list

    glares like a neon sign in her mind
    until he slips back in bed. He is
    spent, so she holds him as
    he snores near her head. She shuts
    her eyes for a second & wakes to
    hear she herself snores instead.

    Gretchen Gersh Whitman

  20. de jackson

    Wow. One last peek before I sleep, and I’ve got lovin’ from both Buddah and Janet. 🙂 Thanks so much, guys. Seriously. Coming from the likes of wonderful word-wielders like you guys, kudos are better than pie. Or scalp massages. Hmmm…at least better than pie. I love a good scalp massage. Sweet dreams, poets. Tomorrow we shall poet again. ; )

  21. Janet Rice Carnahan

    Sara V.

    Thank you so much for your commentary! A poem laughed at is a poem worth writing, unless of course, that wasn’t the point but in this case it was, but on second thought if it wasn’t, well . . . that would be a problem, wouldn’t it? In any case, Sara, thank you! I thought Mother Goose made it just ducky! 🙂

    Pearl Girl

    Thank you for your kind comments about my daily selection of a few poems! It is my delight to offer back because I feel like Will Rogers . . . I never met a poem I didn’t like. They reflect our voice and, in that case, I think they need to be heard, at least once!

    Chuck Puckett

    “See the Gemini Zen Master . . . Be the Gemini Zen Master”! So enjoyed your quick thinking today! On second thought . . .! Wait, let’s “hold” that thought! 🙂

    Michael Grove

    Yes, replaced by Love . . . what a fabulous concept and a great poem!


    “The second thought is Me!” Loved that line! (And “Me” is GOOD!)

    De Jackson

    I have just three words for “Verb Thought Bubbles”! Clever, clever and really clever! Ok, on second thought, make it four words! You get my point!

    Thursday Thoroughly Talented Day Twenty – One

    Gloria Bostic

    I enjoyed your poem today! It was fun and light! Sometimes we just have to move on and go quickly and then we get our second thought! “Thought I’d post a quick response but brain will not cooperate, on second thought, it may take time and right now I have a prior date, I’m off to get my grey undone, have magic worked upon my pate, so wish me inspiration, and I’ll be a little late!” Taking time to do so many things is such a luxury! So is time to get a second thought! It would be interesting to do research on how successful first thoughts are versus second thoughts. In any case, I enjoyed this, Gloria! I thought it highlighted how this works in everyday life. Always that moment of hesitation! Good thing it just takes a second! Good job! Also enjoyed your other one today! Glad you didn’t sleep in after all!

    Annell Livingston

    I loved your poem, “Second Thoughts”. You spoke of the quiet and peaceful times in life. “A kite in the wind, hard to tell, no words to say, new thoughts, second thoughts, or just love? We tend to forget that sometimes there’s no need for thoughts or words. Just being in a place of love is enough. Great images of the poet, by the way! “The lucky poet, carefully places each moment, upon the window sill, arranges them by size, and color, image appears, like the completion of a puzzle, new thoughts, second thoughts, or just love?” The stillness of a book can transport us to so many places. “The book falls open, reading between the lines, the world is brighter, Exploring distant shores, as in a dream, hard to tell, no words to say, new thoughts, old thoughts, or just love.” This was just beautiful, Annell. I agree with you in so many ways. It is like living in a state of Grace, without thoughts, just love! Fantastic job, Annell! No second thoughts or doubts about it!

    Joy Cagil

    “My Childhood” was a touching piece, Joy! When we give it a second thought, it can be quite scary indeed. “Years of distance, veiling childhood, I’m too frightened, to face. Unclear to sight, it tapped on my shoulder, and never left me.” I really appreciated the deeper look at it too. “I assume it plots to destroy. Yet, it only means to say, ‘Look at me; hear me out; weed me out.’” WOW! What insight that is, Joy! Yes, it wants to be noticed, heard and cleared out indeed, even if it seems to want destruction, which is the truly frightening part. Your ending said so much, “My childhood, an angel so terrifying.” I thought this was a truly lovely, insightful and meaningful piece, Joy! Way to go and take it that next level deeper! Wonderful!


    Your poem about Rosie highlighted something important. “Rosie never had second thoughts about anything, she’d jump right in, feet first, she didn’t even have first thoughts.” Sounds like someone pretty impulsive! I have had days like that that I ended up regretting! For example, just following a feeling can sure feel correct but when we don’t think, sometimes consequences can cause harm in any number of ways. You don’t say what happens to Rosie but jumping in feet first usually means the person doesn’t know the depth of what they are getting into. I did that at 5, I jumped in a pool that was deeper than I could handle. Yep, feet first! I must have had some very “rosy” cheeks from embarrassment. Glad I learned to swim after that! Thanks for the great reminder to think once; twice or as much as it takes! Good going, Catkin!

    Iain Kemp

    Where have you been, Iain? I have looked over all these pages for you! You are a voice worth hearing! Glad I finally caught up with you! It was about time! Then I read, “Second Thoughts” and look, it was about time too. I love the way that works. I thought it was great how your poem revealed all the angst of waiting for something we want before we have second thoughts about it. “My mind races, wild with conjecture, crazy with anticipation, my eyes flick rapidly, back and forth, first the phone, then the clock, back and forth, subconsciously counting the ticks, tick-tock, tick-tock”. And the mind keeps popping with more and more thoughts! “A new idea with every tick, a new hope with every tock, but still the phone is silent, and you don’t call.” How much time waiting needs to pass until we have second thoughts? It depends on how much hope we have “with every tock”. I enjoyed this, Iain! It didn’t keep me waiting at all because waiting to find you here was worth the wait! Great going, Iain!

    Wonderful way with words again, Dear PA Poets! First thought, best thought! I could go on and on! Second thought last thought . . . I think not! Many thanks, sleep well and tomorrow, there’s more where these came from! Later!

  22. Buddah Moskowitz

    Today’s "I’m Glad I Didn’t Read These Writers Before I Posted, Or I Would’ve Had Second Thoughts Myself" Hall of Fame is:

    Jerry Walraven
    Linda M. Rhinehart Neas
    Nikki Markle
    PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik
    J. D. Mackenzie
    Tracy Davidson
    Patricia A. Hawkenson
    M.A. Dobson
    Daniel Paicopulos
    Catherine Lee
    Sara V
    de jackson
    Katrelya Angus
    Anders Bylund
    Hannah Gosselin
    Sally Jadlow
    Carolyn Geraci
    Jane Shlensky
    Jo Lightfoot

    If you can, try and convince a loved one to give you a scalp massage! Ah, that’d hit the spot!

    Seriously, thanks for sharing your talent,
    (who struggled to write something today)

  23. A~Lotus

    Second Thoughts on Love

    Like the fall
    of myrtle blossoms
    stagnant in the pool,
    my thoughts float
    back to you
    whenever I look
    at the spine
    of your poetry book
    you lent me
    before we parted
    so spinelessly.
    The book was only
    opened once,
    and slowly but surely
    I am scared of forgetting
    what it’s like to have
    been once in love with you.

  24. Benjamin Thomas

    Second Guessed My Seconds

    My First plate was quite yummy
    But only half full of a tummy

    To no surprise
    That thoughts soon arise
    That I should vie for some seconds

    I know I’m quite paunchy and fat
    And cannot eat this thing or that

    What should I do?
    I eat till I’m through
    I’ll need to buy a new pair of pants

    To jilt plate number two is quite hard
    To say no to sweets, cheesies, and lard

    Pretend that I’m through
    Is all one can do
    But I know that going to get seconds

    No longer thin, slim or prime
    I wonder if wasting my time

    To consider my seconds
    I shouldn’t I reckon
    Second guessed a second too long

  25. Catherine Lee

    Joseph Harker – "Upon Waking" blew my mind. Definitely my fave of yours.

    Buddah – I was wondering where you were! If a day from hell gave you "First Thought, Second Thought," then I wish you many more hellish days. No, wait…

  26. Marcia Gaye

    Repurposed Refuse

    Books are made to be read, not burned,
    But if one leaves me cold,
    Why not let it warm my body
    instead of chilling my soul?

  27. de jackson

    PS: Cameron Steele…I just used Anders’ awesome search tool (thanks, Anders!) to search out your name. Left you a note on day 20 after reading your other poem. If you’ve got a blog, please be sure to make your name clickable (by filling in the website line at the bottom), so we can read more of your stuff. If you don’t, please keep writing…so we can read more of your stuff.

  28. Gerardine Baugh

    This second thoughts poem is horrible. As you can guess I am having second thoughts on actually posting it, but I am tired so here it is..

    "Panning For Gold"

    I know a woman, who changes her mind, and exchanges her fiancés once a year.
    She walks in with money in her eyes gets a ring, and a promise of cheer.
    Then when he’s not looking, she checks out his bank account and career.
    She will push him to choose his life or hers, if it is too easy she will sneer.
    If he isn’t rich enough she moves on, to the next profitable dear.

  29. de jackson

    Cameron Steele: I can’t believe I missed your "Thoughts,for a second?" the first time around. It’s worth going back for seconds, thirds…out loud. Your words bump against each other in such beautiful ways, evocative of your message. I especially love:

    "…and I watched
    every morning the world
    play across your armhairs"


    "instead of charting sober, lovely
    courses together"


    "it’s time passing
    fluted with flesh that
    feels so much like my own"

    Just beautiful.

  30. Michael Grove

    Thank you for the nice Comments Miskmask, Walt, PKP my Pearl, Catherine Lee and Paula Wanken. Very nice Efforts yourselvs.
    Walt – glad your street is long and wide and does not employ one of those nasty machines that come around at night. No bullies on your playground either.

    We Talked About Golf

    A young boy
    looked up to me tonight
    and I let him down.

    You see,
    I am left handed
    and so is he.
    We talked about golf.

    We talked about “Lefty”.
    He asked me if I liked “Tiger”
    We talked about golf.

    We did not talk about adultery.
    We did not talk about false witness.
    No, We did not talk about lying or cheating.
    We did not talk about false idols.

    We did not talk about forgiveness.
    We talked about golf.
    We’ll talk again.

    By Michael Grove

  31. Sara McNulty

    My picks for today so far:

    Sara V. – "Double or Nothing" – So clever! Great use of the prompt. Also, "Jump Already" made me smile.
    Heiberg – Good one!
    Wendy – Unique
    Joseph – "crowding the morning’s doorframe" – No second thoughts on reading this again.
    Mike Maher – "On Second Thought" – Love it – great images
    LBC – "Thanksgiving" – so funny

  32. Jo Lightfoot


    “Odd,” he said.
    He was the passenger in my car,
    so I wanted to know.

    “Well, when I was younger,
    I used to think of Death as
    an entity that I would occasionally
    glance at in my rear-view mirror
    as I zoomed down life’s highway,
    so to speak.”

    Okay, a little odd.

    “Anyway, today it hit me:
    ‘Objects in mirror may be
    closer than they appear.’”

  33. de jackson

    Kit Cooley: Love "It Doesn’t Stink as Much." I’m starting to get a feel for your life, I think. I picture open spaces, lots of animals, hard work. The smell of hay. In the interest of full disclosure from this old small town horse girl turned major city suburb advertising writer mom, I am a little jealous. Thanks for sharing a slice of your life with me. : )

  34. John Pupo

    Ain’t No Goin’ Back

    Seeds in hand,
    cow long gone –
    the beanstalk grew
    momentously enormous

    Golden egos;
    pristine whiteness –
    nothing could clean
    what did unfold

    Jack done did –
    outcome can’t inverse;
    Mother Goose told
    no story in reverse

  35. de jackson

    Thanks, Chev. I did a quick search and can’t find it under "Mutts," but I should have some time for reading later. 🙂

    Thanks so much, PKP. Your sweet comment made my day. You were on quite the roll today! Can’t wait to sit down and absorb all your beautiful words.


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