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  • Poetic Asides

Day 12 Highlights

Categories: Poetry Challenge 2008, Poets.

You were asked to write an apology poem on Day 12, but I want to start off by saying, “Thank you,” for all the great poetry written on this day. Good poems are usually marked by a great degree of honesty (even when making things up) and fearlessness on the part of the poet. These poems were very truthful and close to the bone. For instance, I didn’t realize so many women have thoughts of punching people–the things poetry teaches us. But seriously, there were some funny poems in the bunch, but also some that were truly heartbreaking. Thank you for writing them.

I also want to thank Amy Cornell for sharing this prompt with her women’s writing circle at the Monroe County Corrections Center in Bloomington, Indiana.

Here are the day 12 highlights.

*****

#12

 

I atone…

I admit…

I regret…

I repent…

I confess…

I am sorry…

I am guilty…

I apologize…

I didn’t mean…

I am ashamed…

 

…it’s a beginning.

Are you listening?

Never mind. I need

to say it

 

even if you don’t need to hear it.

 

 

Cara Alson |csalsonAT NOSPAMearthlink dot net

 

*****

 

Inconsiderate Acts

 

I’m sorry snail, I didn’t see you sliding across the sidewalk like a wad of butter on a slowly warming skillet. I’m sorry mailbox lock, for missing with my key and scratching your chrome. It’s such a small key. I’m sorry mail key, for calling you small. You aren’t small, you’re compact. That makes you more efficient. I’m sorry house key, I understand the mailbox lock’s smaller than door lock, and that he’d break off his teeth trying to muster the strength to move that heavy, oh, right, heavy and stiff deadbolt. (Yes, mail-key, I know that he’s full of himself, I’m sorry for placating him, but if he decides to run off I have to call a locksmith and they don’t accept apologize. The last one I called wouldn’t even take a check.) So, so sorry, morning, for stepping on your sidewalks, I’ll try to be more considerate in the future.

 

 

Zebulon Huset |zebulonhusetAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com

 

*****

 

Sweet Nothing

 

I’m sorry you feel that way

was what you said

then later claimed that

as a true apology

 

As you slept

I wrote the note

and taped it to the

bathroom mirror

 

Sorry I didn’t wake you

to say good-bye

 

 

Teri Coyne |tmc329AT NOSPAMaol dot com

 

*****

 

I’m sorry I went back into the bar

after chatting over the bed of my

truck for 20 minutes. We went back

in and drank a bit more, then ended

up back at my place…

 

He never told me about you — the

current wife, just spoke about

the bitch ex-wife, assuming I knew

about you. When I came onto the

scene, after you left,

 

after you were too pregnant to

train any longer. If I had known

about you, it would never have

happened, I never would have

been so sick at heart

 

at what I’d inadvertently done,

all unknowing. I would never

have impulsively left town to

visit my alma mater, my ex-room

mate and his new digs

 

and I would have never met the

man who would become my husband

that second time. I wouldn’t

have been dive bombed by that

wasp or gone to the

 

emergency room and been given

prescription Benedryl, which

loosened my tongue enough to

disarm his sense of humor. So

I’m sorry you

 

still don’t know. I’m sorry about

the whole screwed up situation. I’m

sorry it happened with your husband.

But I’m not sorry it ended up

with mine.

 

 

A.C. Leming |fackorfAT NOSPAMhotmail dot com

 

*****

 

Letter of Apology

 

Dear John (or rather Robert),

I readily confess

That I partake of your challenge

But fail to pass the test.

I could blame it on my two jobs

Or my need for family time,

I could say my dog ate my homework.

Would that excuse work online?

I could plead I missed three days

‘Cause I was subject to the flu,

I could argue I’m not a poet,

I’m just trying something new.

I could say that I am sorry,

I could post it on my shelf,

For it’s not you I have let down…

I apologize to myself.

 

 

Linda Hofke |LNSHOFKEAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com

 

*****

 

Sorry

 

I hope the consequences will be slight.

Sorry for not posting on here last night.

I was out to last call –

it was Friday and all,

so if I penned a poem, it’d be shite.

 

 

Callan Bignoli-Zale |shehadausernameAT NOSPAMgmail dot com

 

*****

 

Sister

 

She’s still there, whether

I talk to her or not.

Whether I pick up the phone

and try to cross the bridge

that’s been bombed.

It wasn’t us—

we both agree—

but still, the bridge is gone

and I haven’t rebuilt it

with telephone wire.

 

 

Kimberlee Thompson |kthompsonAT NOSPAMpatmedia dot net

 

*****

 

Yellow

 

Sepia stains this house –

and you – with time passed,

time mourned, choices made

 

or not. Of fingers

jaundiced and shrunken,

swirling amber nectar,

 

ice clacking to moments

metered by the hissing

thump, thump, thump of air

 

coursing via canal,

to make red what’s blue

in you, now yellowed,

 

smoky-scented, canyon-

carved, starving for space

enough to utter

 

“I’m sorry.” But the tip

just flares, then fades. You

gasp, and all goes black.

 

 

Linda |drwasyAT NOSPAMgmail dot com

 

*****

 

Why I’m late

 

I left in plenty of time but

There was a train,

I had a flat tire,

My mom/sister/doctor called,

I was detoured,

I forgot my purse,

There was an accident,

The dog ate my homework,

(Sorry, wrong excuse list),

I would have called but

My cell phone battery

Was dead…

Oh heck, I just didn’t leave

Early enough. I’m sorry.

 

 

Lyn Sedwick |LASMD925AT NOSPAMaol dot com

 

*****

 

The Lackluster Apology

 

I’m sorry that I have the energy

To smile and rub your shoulders

I’m sorry that I enjoyed my day

That I delight in the new flowers

The silly thing our son said

The bliss of going for a walk with a friend

That I have the time to make your life simple

And full of love and peace

That I am not miserable and having crazy days

Like you

That I’m clearly not as important as someone

Who has impossibly difficult days

And mountains of pressure and frustration

Over and over and over again

But mostly I’m sorry that you don’t

Remember

How it was when I was stressed, fried

And miserable too

And the tension between the two of us

Just about broke us in two

And when I told you to stop buying things

That you ignored me and said “it’s a homerun.”

And now it’s a headache

And that you still don’t see it

But I’m not sorry that you’re a dreamer

A risk taker, and an artist and still

The handsomest man I know

 

 

SaraV |slvinasAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com

 

*****

 

You’re sorry?

 

You said you were sorry

For ending it all

On Valentine’s Day.

Well, just why

Were you sorry?

 

For keeping me waiting

In a car with no heat

While the petals

On the roses I’d

Brought for you froze?

 

For leaving out the

Notebooks filled

With love letters

I thought were for me

Until I read a little deeper?

 

For not having the guts

To look me in the eye

And say, “It’s Over.”

Instead, calling collect.

(Of course I accepted the charges.)

 

Or simply for the

Shoddy cliché of it all.

Dumped on Valentine’s Day.

Now there’s a rejection

That keeps on giving.

 

 

Mike Barzacchini |mjbarzAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com

 

*****

 

I wasn’t there

 

but I was there…

trapped in the body

of an eight-year-old child,

my short fingers capable

of sending my toys

to imaginary graves,

but not stopping

the tears

from streaming

down my mother’s face,

not stopping the faceless

fist from tangling

in her long blonde curls

and dragging her from my room

and down the hall.

 

I can still hear her screaming.

 

I can still hear the voice

of the monster

calling her bitch,

telling her he is going to

get out his knife,

he is going to

cut the baby

out of her guts,

telling her she will never

leave him again.

I can still hear the thud

of his fist in the wall

and the struggle

as she fights her way

back out of the darkness.

 

Moonlight falling in

through the rectangular windows

of this small trailer

in the Kentucky woods,

my sister and I

curled under the blankets

of our separate bunks

and held our breath,

our immature minds

incapable of knowing

that we could be hearing

the sounds of

our mother about to die.

 

But the light came on,

and with a flurry of shouts

and sobs we were in the truck

and gone,

leaving the demon

alone to destroy

everything that could be broken.

 

I was too young.

I couldn’t say

don’t go back,

I didn’t know

my sister’s innocence

was under attack,

I didn’t know

the words “abuse”, “sexual”,

or “victim”,

but I felt

deep down

a sense of wrong.

 

I’ll never understand

why she did it,

believed his apologies and lies,

left me for a year

to live with my grandparents,

while they moved back

into a different trailer

in a different town,

why he was allowed

to hold my baby brother

in his tainted hands.

I wasn’t there

but I was.

 

I’m sorry I wasn’t old enough

to know how to load a gun.

 

 

Jay Sizemore |vader655321AT NOSPAMhotmail dot com

 

*****

 

Apology

 

I ran all the way

Through the rain,

Splashing in every puddle

‘Til there was mud to my knees,

Hair plastered, heart pounding,

Lungs bursting, tears choking,

Ran all the way home.

I’m sorry. So sorry.

Sorry I went anyway when

You said you’d be busy;

Sorry I saw her there.

Sorry I saw you together.

Sorry I believed you,

Believed in us. Sorry.

 

 

Shirley T. |sat50AT NOSPAMtogether dot net

 

*****

 

Explanation

 

Forgive the laughter–

it bubbled up

from my toes

and spilled out

over my lips

and had nothing

to do with

your coming in.

 

 

Sara Diane Doyle |saras dot sojournsAT NOSPAMgmail dot com

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About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

4 Responses to Day 12 Highlights

  1. MD Kelly says:

    Love them all, but Sara V, you really hit home for all couples everywhere living those perfectly imperfect lives/days/hours/ just trying to keep it all together in this unpredictable mad mad world! Kudos. Very incisive. Keep on writing!

  2. Linda S-W says:

    Lyn – you wrote a poem about me? You were the fly on the metro window as I celled my hubby another lame excuse? Callan, your limerick is priceless – word of the day – shite!

    Thanks Robert – these are all phenomenal. Peace, Linda

  3. Haha… I was hoping you’d highlight my wiseass limerick. Thanks, Robert.

  4. Carol -Amherst, Mass says:

    Oh My God, Robert, you must have had hard time picking out the highlights. Those were so so outstanding. Wow. I love this challenge. There is so much talent out there, and I get to read it all every day. Thank you Rob and everyone who is participating. – Carol

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