2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 3

For today’s prompt, there are actually two options, because it’s Tuesday, which means a “Two for Tuesday” prompt. They are:

  • Write an apology poem, or…
  • Write an unapologetic poem.

Your choice. You can be sorry–or not. Or write about someone who is sorry–or not.

Here’s my attempt:

“I Am Really Sorry”

I didn’t return your call. I told you
that I did. The world is against you
(it really is). Some people make you feel
unwanted every day. When I join
them. It’s taken me this long to accept
you without turning away from you. That
it’s very likely I’ll do it again.


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580 thoughts on “2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 3

  1. hurtin-heart

    You say you’re sorry but you have yet to prove!
    Your apolagies mean nothing
    When you continue hurting those around you.
    How much longer!
    Must you continue the path you’re on.
    Thinking you’re always right,
    And the rest of the world is wrong!
    I’ve said i’m sorry a thousand times,
    For things i haven’t done
    And proved it time after time.
    But in your mind you see things only one way.
    And though i’ve tried many times,
    I’m most sorrowful,
    that i can’t help you change your ways.
    For you have a good heart
    But life has caused anger to consume you.
    Maybe one day you can finally
    let go of the past,and prove your apologies
    Are honest and true.

  2. Melissa Hager

    Let’s try this again…

    “Forgive and Forget”

    Love thy neighbor…
    Love thy neighbor…
    I remind myself of the command.
    To love my neighbor
    as a favor
    to One pierced in hands,

    and feet,

    sword in His side.

    OK, I love my neighbor.

  3. Nimue

    Sorry (or not)

    At times, like last night
    I aploogize for saying some things;
    you smile and nod in agreement
    knowing well, I never am sorry,
    for voicing my thoughts
    of doubts on my abilities;
    but instead am sorry
    to not trust even your words
    as simple as “I love you”

  4. Sharon

    Yours and Mine

    He is so perfect,
    your son, so able to
    do things right,
    I’m sorry to say,
    while mine struggles
    with rejection and anger
    fear and pride,
    poor choices and
    the consequences
    of paint sniffing
    when he was young.

    I’m sorry he is not so
    perfect, like your boy,
    straight and true,
    grown into a man
    too good to hate
    but, forgive me,
    I resent him just the same.
    I yearn for your approval
    as does my imperfect
    struggling son
    who, thank God, makes it through
    despite us both
    and our unsupportive,
    judgmental ways.

  5. Michael Grove

    I’m Sorry and I’m Not

    I’m not sorry
    I cried over your spilt milk.
    I’m sorry
    that you spilt it in the first place.
    I’m not sorry
    I walked a mile in your shoes.
    I’m sorry
    that I wore them out for you.
    I’m not sorry
    I picked up the pieces of a broken heart.
    I’m sorry
    it had to break the way it did.
    I’m not sorry
    I never focused on the money.
    I’m sorry
    for those who do.
    I’m not sorry
    I couldn’t kick them out of the nest.
    I’m sorry
    I didn‘t teach them to fly sooner.
    I’m not sorry
    I didn’t burn any bridges.
    I’m sorry
    I didn’t build more of them.
    I’m not sorry
    for all that has been said and done.
    I’m sorry
    we didn’t see eye to eye.

    By Michael Grove

  6. Bryan

    I find nothing worth procreating about. No need for me to reseed.
    I am the last of a very few. Born once fresh, but never new.
    Born into a pitiful hole; screaming toothless, wet and cold.
    Growing and losing hair, along with my concerns and cares.
    Lips slip sounds so soft and round, that drip right off onto the ground.
    God doesn’t hear me, now why would you?
    You don’t have to fear me, but maybe you do…

  7. Jane Shlensky

    Almost Sorry

    When Daddy cut the rose buds
    she had coddled for weeks
    to state fair perfection,
    his broad hands covered
    with bright heads of bloom
    gently unfurling like simpering
    lips lined between his fingers,
    that gesture was meant to say
    I’m sorry to Mama, words
    he hadn’t learned to say.

    She gasped once and closed
    her eyes as if the wind
    had been knocked from her
    dreams, leaned against
    the kitchen sink until
    the dizziness passed,
    then dared to look at him,
    smiling, waiting with
    his almost apology,
    “My wife grows
    the most beautiful
    flowers in the world,”

    a statement to make amends
    for previous faults,
    as we children wondered
    what he could ever do to get
    past this current thoughtlessness.
    “Drop ‘em!” she said,
    exhaling, as he kissed her
    and left, never knowing.
    We watched her dreams shift
    and felt sorry on his behalf.
    She only shook her head and said,
    “Children get the big snifter.
    We’ll have to float ‘em.”

  8. Andrea B

    Think Before You Speak

    The interjections
    “Oh dear!”
    “Get out of here!”
    are acceptable

    but I reject
    “I’m sorry!”
    as an interjection
    if used with that inflection.

    A courteous
    interruption, like
    “Excuse me”
    “I beg your pardon”
    is universal conversation,

    but wait until
    my point is poignant
    before you say,
    “I’m sorry.”

    “Uh . . .”
    “Er . . .”
    “Um . . .”
    are likely
    and suitably
    or muttered.

    “I’m sorry . . .”
    never belongs
    under your

    Think before you speak
    and I will accept your apology.

  9. Michael Grove


    Started strolling down this street about a year ago.
    Got hooked on prompted poeming in this place.
    Still hanging around here with all my homeys.
    Gonna write it down and shove it in your face.

    You might not be fond of rhyming couplets.
    Maybe rambling prose is more your style.
    Don’t mind me because I’m just here loitering.
    Still I hope to bring you all a smile.

    Well I might not belong here in the eyes of some.
    Aint got no MFA upon my wall.
    But, when I’m loitering here in my silence.
    I’m free to answer each and every call.

    So don’t mind me. I’ll cause no harm to you.
    Just skip on past me when you see my name.
    I’ll just loiter here in my irrelevance.
    I enjoy it. I’ll stay, if it’s all the same.

    Let me take a moment to apologize.
    Arrest me if you must now for this crime.
    Tried, convicted, sentenced for this loitering.
    I’ll go peacefully somewhere and do my time.

    By Michael Grove

  10. Jane Shlensky

    The Recitation

    Why do you look so glum? Smile!
    You’re slouching again. Stand up straight and tall!
    Did you forget to take out the garbage again?
    Put that beer on a coaster for heaven’s sake.
    You’re almost perfect, but tuck in your shirt.
    Achh! Dragon breath! Take a hint, use a mint!
    You never say you love me any more.
    For goodness sake, stop saying you’re sorry.

  11. Arrvada

    Just Accept It

    I am not going to take it
    The looks, the accusations
    The demands I be more
    Than I can be
    I will not conform
    Be molded and shaped
    Like you see fit
    I am not your clay
    I am mine, to create
    To shape and sculpt
    To take my experiences and dreams
    And fashion who I will be
    I will not apologize for being me

  12. Arrvada

    I’m Sorry

    I’m sorry I couldn’t always be
    The person you dreamed of me
    I am sorry I fell short
    Of the expectations you had
    I am sorry that now
    Standing here and looking back
    I grew up to be something
    You had never wanted to be
    I am sorry
    I say this to the mirror
    Looking at me.

  13. taylor graham


    I’m sorry I walked out on the meeting –
    medley of deficits and tax-deductions,
    emerging markets in India, the bottom
    line – sorry I stuffed the stress into my
    briefcase; snapped it shut; walked out

    in the giddy green morning. Somehow
    I got lost in a meadow exploding with
    poppies, popcorn flower, bouquets
    of dainty toadstools, a litter of white
    petals under the arches of wild plum.

    I kept on walking until I found an old
    willow soaking his feet in the flow,
    recalling years of green-birth and fall.
    I sat down there beside him.
    Tell you the truth, I’m not sorry at all.

  14. Jane Shlensky


    Kidnapped, hoodwinked,
    torn from home and language,
    these women were placed
    in sexual servitude by the enemy,
    forced to follow the troops
    thousands of miles away
    to base camps in jungles
    in a life so debased that
    few survived or wished to.

    Raped and starved,
    savaged and thrown away,
    they would no longer
    harbor the old dreams
    of marriage, children,
    an honorable man, a
    decent life, accepted
    and revered by family,
    for they were now
    perpetually unclean.

    These comfort women
    stood together decades
    after the war to demand
    a nation’s apology,
    believing that saying
    I’m sorry is acknowledging
    wrong-doing, admitting
    shame, and asking for
    forgiveness. But where
    is the heart of government,
    where its hands and feet,
    where its conscience
    and its shame, where
    its voice? How does one
    forgive someone who
    will not acknowledge
    a policy of wrong-doing?

    After international trials,
    testimony of soldiers,
    officers, and the women
    themselves—daughters of
    Korea, China, Singapore,
    Malaysia, Borneo, even
    Japan—they succeeded
    in winning a monetary
    settlement, a pittance
    passed to governments
    by governments,
    and an official statement
    designed to lay the matter
    to rest, that in wars,
    sometimes unfortunate
    things happen, and
    no one is to blame.

    Documents were shredded;
    doors and files closed to
    these women who traveled
    from the shadows of their
    broken lives to hear
    this apology. United
    now in comfortlessness,
    they had gone in a word
    from being raped to being

    1. Jane Shlensky

      Linda, Mike, Pearl, and Sheryl, Thanks so much for you comments. Throwing money at a person as an apology is not quite the same as owning the wrong done–makes it worse somehow, doesn’t it? I appreciate your feedback, friends.

  15. cindishipley

    No Apologies

    I’m sorry
    I didn’t do it,
    but I promise
    I will next time.
    I tried but I just
    couldn’t find the time.
    How bad can it really be?
    Yikes, ok no more rationalizing.
    I promise
    I’ll never do it again.
    OOPS, I mean I promise
    I’ll do it next time.
    Oh ok, I am sorry that
    I am sorry.
    Look it’s not like I killed anyone.
    Tomorrow, I will
    pick up your dry cleaning ok?

    Cindi shipley

  16. ellanytdavve

    Hommage to The Beatles

    I’m so sorry,
    Oh so sorry
    For the way I didn’t
    Do you well.

    Please forgive me,
    Yes forgive me
    While I try to make
    It right

    Some times, though
    I create such woe
    It’s hard to keep
    Going on.

    Fairly sure you know
    How I feel
    Let me cozy up
    For an appeal,


  17. Michael Grove

    I’m Not Superman

    I’m sorry I’m not Superman
    any more but if you would
    please pull the knife
    out of my back,
    I’d still take a bullet
    in the chest for you.

    By Michael Grove

  18. Michael Grove

    Cause and Effect

    If I could understand all of the reasons
    that caused things to turn out in this way,
    I’d go back to that dreadful place in time,
    and I’d relive that life changing day.

    If I knew the cause I’d say I’m sorry.
    I wonder if that would do any good.
    Seeing the effect it’s had on both of us,
    I’m sorry for not doing all I could.

    We can’t live a life that’s full of guilt.
    It would be so easy to place blame.
    There’s no sense feeling sorry for ourselves.
    The cruel finality is such a shame.

    By Michael Grove

  19. pearl

    Sorry, Not Sorry

    It could have been so different.
    In a different life, perhaps, on
    a different planet where love
    flourishes and never dies, where
    youthful indiscretions are merely
    a cause for pause and not
    unspoken regret harbored for life.

    It could have been so different, but
    if it had been different, a different life perhaps,
    then we would have lost now,
    I’m sorry,
    now is greater than anything then.

  20. unscriptedlife

    I had to do an interview about George today… it put me in kind of a dark mood. So here’s today’s attempt:

    The Apology

    I’ve spent so long being angry for the goodbyes I’ve had to say.
    My friends, my mentor and my Pop, I miss them every day.
    Love comes with a price, one I’ve had to pay.
    I just wish, dear God, there was some other way.

    Through my pain, I’ve blamed you quietly inside.
    But I use a smile as my way to hide.
    I know that you hear all the words I’ve cried,
    Every time I think of my loved one who have died.

    I know that you can take it when I wake up mad.
    And you just hold me closer every time I’m sad.
    I am so sorry for these feelings that I’ve had.
    The love you show me makes my heart so glad.

    Thank you for picking me up every time I fall.
    Thank you for forgiving me for the big and for the small.
    Thank you for being there every time I call.
    And most of all thank you for loving me through it all.

  21. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 3

    Write a poem of apologizing or not apologizing.

    No Apologies

    I’m not sorry
    we went rock-hopping and got caught in the rain
    driving back the winding road with chips of hail
    pelting the windshield
    while high young voices trilled pop songs
    and squealed with laughter
    from the rear seats.

    I’m not sorry the rain pelted the cabin’s metal roof
    and the thunder cracked and boomed
    while we colored Lisa Frank on the bed to the murmur
    of Disney and Nick
    while dads worked on computers or napped
    and then we all stared over the balcony at
    a rainbow arcing across the mountain into the valley
    below us, sure sign we spent the day rightly.

    I’m not sorry
    because love and beauty are too dear to miss.

  22. CMcGowan

    I’m sorry you didn’t try
    didn’t fly to the moon and back
    to reach the pinnacle stack
    of achievement
    That’s so far out of your grasp
    due to your lack,
    of effort.

    I’m sorry you didn’t reach
    the goals you felt beneath
    your almighty presence
    of being
    That now wear out your feet
    and break your back,
    in pieces.

    I’m sorry you didn’t listen
    like a newborn kitten
    that stares with wonder
    and awe
    pawing at curiosity
    such an atrocity,
    of nine lives.

    I’m sorry that your sorry
    not in terms of apologies,
    but in terms of never meant to be’s
    of a slacker
    A mid-life hacker, sacker
    bagging my goods,
    not misunderstood…

    Like you want to be.

  23. omavi

    “Out at First Base”

    You do really understand this was not
    Really all my fault, a little drunk
    On really a lot drunk and shouldn’t be held
    Responsible for the irresponsibility
    Of my sometimes randomly nonrandom thoughts
    I knew it would hurt you feelings
    I understand that things left unsaid
    Are best locked away in the black abyss
    Of silence, but my tongue the escape artist
    Was never used to being held down
    Must have really been the glare from
    The lights underneath the bar
    The tireless meat market chatter and patter
    Confusing me and causing me to see
    Something that may not have been really
    And a first date conversation it really was not
    I’m truly apologetic and profusely sympathetic
    But honestly
    That’s an ugly ass dress you have on …

  24. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    My unapologetic poem…

    Kiss my poetry

    Of all the ships in the sea,
    Censorship needs to be sunk.
    How dare you ban my poetry?
    Of all the ships in the sea,
    where free expression is history,
    suppression should walk the plank.
    Of all the ships in the sea,
    Censorship needs to be sunk.

  25. Linda Voit

    “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”

    Coated in haunting music
    and terminal pathos, offered
    in the dark with buttered popcorn,
    even poison seems like the right thing
    to swallow.

    Linda Voit

  26. Sara McNulty

    Never Wrong? (a triolet)

    He has trouble apologizing
    because he always thinks he is right.
    Though he does no proselytizing,
    he has trouble apologizing.
    I spend hours analyzing
    this quirk that he deems trite.
    He has trouble apologizing
    because he always thinks he is right.

  27. Golden Rule

    I Apologize

    Here we are just you and I
    I’m at a lost for words
    but I just want to say
    I apologize
    Because like the Prodigal I have strayed away.
    I took all of my inheritance
    and my selfishness would not allow me to share in any way.
    I apologize for the lies
    And the many times
    That I
    said “God if you get me through this I will serve you with my whole life.”
    I apologize for my lustful eyes
    That pierced through that young ladies thighs
    I apologize for the deceit
    And how it was me
    that hung you up on that tree.
    I’m just grateful that you forgive
    And on that tree you were willing to bear all sin.
    I hope you accept my apology
    And I want to thank you for that red Cross
    Because it was there where you showed your love for me.

  28. Marie Elena

    Wrote something kind of like this a while ago. Thanks for the re-inspiration, Mr. Gotera!


    Dear Wannabe Writer,

    Your story is truly compelling.
    You don’t have a problem with spelling.
    Your grammar is decent.
    Your subject is recent.
    You’re perfect at “showing, not telling.”

    Your staging just couldn’t be better.
    In a word, you’re the perfect vignette-er.
    We know you’ll succeed,
    But you don’t fit our need,
    So we’re sending this “Dear Loser” letter.

    1. Benjamin Thomas

      Having trouble with comments being placed at the very bottom instead of the intended recipient. Weird. Anyhow…Marie Elena I made a comment that was directed to you a couple comments down.

      Me gusta, that means I like it!

  29. Shannon Lockard

    I Apologize

    slipped through
    empty fingers
    clinging to
    the promises
    you used to make.
    Declaring this
    was the last
    You marched away
    with my innocence
    but hope
    spurred me
    on my path
    from you
    towards a
    when all those
    that would never
    ring true
    were replaced
    by the wholeness
    I found
    without you.

    I apologize.

    1. Marie Elena

      Shannon, this is terrific, and very De-like. Not just the subject matter (though De often writes of the same subject very well), but the wordplay as well. I can’t think of a higher compliment than to tell you that if your name had not been attached, I’d have thought this to be De Jackson’s work.

  30. vincegotera

    I’d love to get a little feedback on this if anyone’s of a mind to do so. Is it too snarky? Or should I even care? Thanks.

    Signed, Poetry Editor

    Dear Poet: I know our stock rejection says
    We are sorry to have to return your submission,
    but we are limited by space in the review and

    must often turn away strong work. We wish you
    all the best in placing your writing elsewhere.

    but actually, I’m NOT sorry. Your poem sucked.

    There was just one flower species too many
    in the second stanza. Who do you think
    we are, the New Yorker? I mean, really.

    Also, you might want to consider never
    illustrating your poems with Hello Kitty
    skulls. Though the little band-aids are cute.

    And what’s with those words sussurus
    and pyewacket in line 12. Especially
    rhyming with thesaurus and can’t hack it.

    Let me tell you who can’t hack . . . whoa,
    whoa. I just remembered that at the Doomsday
    Quarterly Review
    we’re not supposed to critique.

    But how can I not? After all I’m here to serve.
    I hope you will grace DQR with more poems.
    We won’t put them up on the bulletin board

    and throw darts at them. We promise.
    We cross our hearts and hope to die.
    Don’t forget to sign your check. G’bye.

    by Vince Gotera

    Blog: The Man with the Blue Guitar

  31. ShreyIyengar

    This one looks back on a failed friendship with nothing but calm objectivity.

    In Retrospect

    The apology isn’t for:

    having imagined that generous subcutaneous fat,
    could merge with slight bone and sinew,
    and form a being, substantial at last,
    that hole could now be, whole.

    the asinine belief in the instant ever after,
    two minds tethered in brilliant askew,
    the reflected image of want, too vivid,
    the original impalpable, mired by the mirage.

    the indulgence that encouraged the craving,
    for a father figure, comrade of intellect,
    just stopping short of a carnal lover; a bright speck
    of protest on a solitary self-sufficient kismet.

    The apology is only for:

    the singular shortness of sight,
    of the heavy burden that was wantonly imposed,
    on a man-child, unsure, battling the brutes within,
    needy, yet, unlearned in the art of giving back.

  32. Mariya Koleva

    As the last minutes of Day 3 tick away here, in Europe, I am posting and leave reading for the morning. I suppose this is an apology poem 🙂


    My tired eyes

    have said it all

    Exhaustion’s grip has made me humble

    My eyes of languor

    and dreams of linger

    apologise for staying longer

    than time and patience

    for which we had,

    indeed, agreed.

  33. barbara_y

    The cat makes no apology.
    She wakes me with a foot pressed in my eye
    and sings her breakfast order
    like starvation’s deathbed aria.
    The cat makes no apology, but:
    while I’m sudsing for the day she makes–
    just barely out of sight
    due to the overhanging bedskirt–black hairballs
    for my warm, clean toes to find.
    The cat makes no apology, is in my chair
    before my knees are straight;
    is on my laid-out pressed white shirt
    before my hand’s a foot away.
    The cat makes no apology: she readies me
    for life outside the door.

  34. susan budig

    On Board Miss Teacup, Our Ketch

    It’s a sin to fight on a night like this–so starry
    out here off the coast of Jack Bay
    I want you to know, I am truly sorry
    In the dark of night, it’s the least I can say

    Out here off the coast of Jack Bay
    I didn’t hear you, I thought you said, “trim”
    In the dark of night, it’s the least I can say
    Or notice the rigging wrapped around your limb

    I didn’t hear you, I thought you said, “trim”
    I’m easily excited, I often pull too hard
    Or notice the rigging wrapped around your limb
    With a knife wound like that, I’m sure you’ll be scarred

    I’m easily excited, I often pull too hard
    I had no idea, a shark in the water?
    With a knife wound like that, I’m sure you’ll be scarred
    I deny with fervor, I didn’t cry, “Got ‘er!”

    I had no idea, a shark in the water?
    I’d fished you out, did you have to call your mother?
    I deny with fervor, I didn’t cry, “Got ‘er!”
    The accusations you made, I wish I could smother

    I’d fished you out, did you have to call your mother?
    It’s a sin to fight on a night like this–so starry
    The accusations you made, I wish I could smother
    I have you know, I am no longer sorry

  35. suzibee

    Hi Guys,

    Internet problems, so here’s all three to catch up to today. Haven’t participated in PAD for a long time. Good to see some familiar faces and good writing. Looking forward to all of the poems and friends on here.

    PAD #1


    You’re my aunt
    I’m your goddaughter
    20 years is too long
    to be out of touch

    “What the hell should I do with this?”

    Your reaction when you read my note
    Not asking for anything
    Not complaining
    Just saying hello

    After all these years…and yet…
    Some things just aren’t meant to be

    PAD #2


    If I show up on your front step
    Would you open the door?
    If I only wanted a word with you
    And nothing more

    Would you spend just one hour
    At your dining table
    Just like we used to do
    Can we still connect
    Have we lost it all
    I don’t believe that’s true


    Would it be as though an itinerant salesman
    Or an un-catholic religious wag
    Had rung your bell to take up your time
    And you’d send me off baggage and bag?

    Would it make you feel better
    As you returned to your day
    And give you release from all strings?

    Or would you see me again as your own sister’s child
    And open your heart to what love brings

    #3 Two for Tuesday


    Oh I’m so sorry!
    So sorry
    So, so, so so Sorry!
    I went away
    broke family bonds
    didn’t mourn properly,
    the passing of my alcholic mother –
    Your sister –
    Sided with my father
    Didn’t write; didn’t call
    I’m sorry
    But I’m older now
    And sorry

    I would like to mend the family bond
    Commiserate with the pain of your sister’s passing
    Remind you, my dad is dead
    And all I’m asking
    Is re-connection, forgiveness and
    To tell you that I’M SORRY!


    Here’s one for you
    Remain as stubborn as you like –
    I’m not sorry I left
    Not sorry I broke our bond

    I’m not sorry that I disturbed you
    by trying to reconnect
    by writing a newsy letter
    to say hello, how are you and the family?
    Here’s what I’m up to
    Hope all is well and you are all in good health

    Well, yes, I’m only sorry I wrote that letter
    And disturbed your nest of resentment and
    the judgment you still hold
    after all this time

    Enjoy the rest of your life
    Because I’m not sorry now.

  36. PSC in CT

    To NoAnyEveryOnly One

    Please accept (or don’t)
    this most timely (premature/belated)
    distinctly generic, comprehensive, pitiful (un-)apology:

    I’m (not) sorry for all those (some)times
    I have(n’t) listenedheard what you never did(n’t) say;
    nor for putting/speaking/shutting up when I should(n’t) have;
    likewise, that I could not be/do/become
    what you wanted/needed/expected of me,
    when all I ever owed no/any/every/only/some one (me)
    was to be who I only ever really was

  37. uneven steven

    This is just to say

    I have written
    the poem
    from your childhood
    and which
    you were probably
    for just such
    an occasion
    forgive me
    it was so cool,
    yet obvious
    with just the right
    amount of

    too late i see lots of others:)

  38. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Why should I apologize?
    I didn’t plan it!
    I take to the skies,
    As Janet Planet!

    I just have to go,
    When the call comes in!
    It is all that I know!
    No way to begin!

    I put on the cape,
    And go where I must,
    It’s a fast escape,
    I have to zoom or bust!

    I can’t say I’m sorry or not!
    There’s really no thinking involved!
    I have to be speedy to not get caught!
    Otherwise, the case won’t be solved!

    I can’t back down now,
    It just wouldn’t be right!
    I simply wouldn’t know how,
    Besides my golden headband . . .

    Glows at night! 🙂

  39. KarenWalcott

    Sorry Mamman
    I am sorry, Mamman.
    You wanted me to sit
    For Monsieur Renoir. You wanted
    A formal portrait to hang in the
    Salon to impress your friends
    I wore a new dress: the lavender damask
    With the violet brooch and the pale green
    Silk sash. I pulled my long hair back, up and
    off my face they way you requested.
    I met Monseuir Renoir in Provence as you instructed.
    I obeyed his every word standing there in the hot sun
    For hours, letting him place his warm hands in the small
    Of my back and then his long fingers on my shoulders.
    I’m sorry Mamman, I didn’t know then that he would
    Pull me into a kiss. I didn’t know that one kiss would lead
    To so many other sweet—bittersweet–shameful things.

  40. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Someone asked me once,
    If a simple apology from you would do.
    I told them, yes, I would really like that,
    Certainly it would help!
    Yet, time and time again,
    It was the opposite,
    Blame, more blame,
    Shame and guilt!
    Disapproval and anger,
    Then you died.

    Seeing you right after I heard,
    I cried and cried,
    In front of you,
    At the funeral home,
    Saying over and over,
    How sorry I was,
    I never pleased you,
    I wasn’t ever who you had in mind.

    Now years later, I realize,
    I don’t ever need to apologize to you again,
    I also don’t need you to ever say,
    You were sorry,
    You were wrong,
    You were mistaken,
    About me,
    Or us!

    All I need now,
    Is to forgive it all completely,
    And to be grateful,
    Not hateful,
    That we knew each other,
    We had a time together,
    I grew, learned, watched and followed.

    And in the end there is love,
    Always love,
    So, now I can honestly say,
    Deeply, dearly and sincerely . . .

    Thank you and rest in peace.


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