2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 18

Mondays feel so much better when we’re poeming. Well, I feel that way anyway, and I hope at least a few others do too.

For today’s prompt, write a “forget what I said earlier” poem. This poem could be a response to a poem you wrote earlier in the challenge (or just earlier in general). Or it could cover one of those moments–I have them all the time–when you say something that ends up proving wrong or that you wish you’d taken back.

Here’s my attempt at a “forget what I said earlier” poem:


I take it all back. I’ll buy you some smokes.
Just don’t take my van, or I’ll be tempted

to call the cops, and if you don’t stop, they’ll
use deadly force. They’ve got guns to use them.

So stop, please stop. A pack of cigarettes
ain’t worth getting killed over, not today.


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Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and can’t imagine having such a tragic thing happen as losing a son while trying to teach him a lesson. At the same time, it’s easy to see from video footage that the son handled the lesson about poorly as possible (view footage). Robert is the author of Solving the World’s Problems, which deals with topics of love, loss, and forgiveness. He’s married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets (four boys and one girl). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


Check out a couple more poetic posts here:

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163 thoughts on “2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 18

  1. hohlwein

    Forget what I said earlier.
    I’m a damn liar.

    I can use a shotgun.
    I keep a holster under my dress.

    I have no particular fondness
    for the clink of a tea cup

    or for the sound of boots up the back steps.
    I don’t see things like you do.

    And I don’t care about that.
    Or about you much.

    We’re blood.
    That’s all.

    I bequeath you my wrists
    their quickness.

    Don’t believe the stories. Go.
    Give me back to my time.

  2. Yolee

    Forget What I Said Earlier

    Let’s take Luke
    to the tomorrow instead.
    Your father says
    they close the doggie
    park after sunset- plus
    we all to have issues
    with darkness.

  3. Lori P


    we know more as the world keeps turning
    showing us new things
    invalidating some old beliefs
    upholding others
    much to our surprise

    I taught you the sun orbits us
    time is constant
    only stress causes ulcers
    Pluto is a planet
    only because it’s the best
    I knew at the time

    just because nothing is certain
    doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try
    hypothesize, test, reevaluate, retest
    there is never an end to learning
    there are more things in heaven and earth

  4. seingraham

    This is an older one and should probably be renamed to fit the prompt but…it came to mind as soon as I saw the prompt…so I’m going with it…

    Beware the Wielding of Words

    “Be careful of words… They are doves falling out of the ceiling… Once broken they are impossible things to repair” (Anne Sexton’s lines from her poem “Words”: in The Awful Rowing Toward God)

    Into the darkness after hearing
    The poetess weave her dark magic
    The listeners stumbled blindly

    Ducking as if for cover, dodging
    Perceived in-coming explosives
    Trying not to cower, or pray, or weep

    To a one, they had been damaged
    As truly as if, like any unsuspecting
    And innocent, ordinary audience

    While they sat quietly, in anticipation
    Of something knowable, if not predictable
    They had instead received grenades

    Grenades lobbed so casually but with
    Such unerring accuracy and deadly aim
    They remained frozen in place as if dead

    Even as the shards disguised as words
    Blew every façade of normalcy to splinters
    Leaving the most banal thoughts

    Tattered as dying crows, or used motel towels
    Too complexly difficult to reassemble
    Anywhere within breathing distance of the one

    The perpetrator; she who reeked
    Of things rotting or near-dead,
    Not poetry, not nicely crafted verse, no

    Such work as this defied easy explanation
    Or any, come to that, might take many days
    Before any could mull it over, risk another thought

    The poetess sat slumped in the gathering night
    Alone with her words shattered to dust in the room
    As always after a reading, she felt nothing.

  5. bjholmes

    Forget What I said Earlier…What’s Right

    Do not be deceived
    by what the world tends
    to believe
    God doesn’t like
    to be mocked.
    Words of encouragement
    of friendhsip
    of love
    on these our solid Rock.
    Speak on with
    great confidence
    be not silent or afraid,
    for God is always with us,
    a guide to light our way.
    Speak on with
    love and mercy
    of the grace bestowed
    for us.
    Christ died to give us
    and on this we can
    fully trust.

  6. BezBawni

    In Vino Veritas

    The words I said… I did
    …I didn’t mean
    …I mean I didn’t,
    if I did, I’m sorry…
    sorry if I did…
    I say…I want to say forget,
    say you forgot,
    you won’t remember
    what I said…I said
    what I had never meant
    to say or ever meant
    to want you to remember…

  7. Rita Ackerman

    Forget What I Said Earlier

    Forget What I Said Earlier
    It doesn’t matter anyway.
    Tomorrow it will be forgotten
    and you’ll move on your way.

    Then I’ll be a memory,
    for a short time, at least.
    Then I’ll say “I love you” again
    And he’ll pretend he didn’t hear.

  8. bartonsmock


    his mother sleeps with her mouth open. I have seen him tip an empty beer can above it. when he has a crush on a girl, he takes me by the shirt and gets in my face as if he could spit me into being. summer, we get our bird legs (he says, he says) to tiptoe on the tongue of god.

    he writes stories under any tree on its way to lightning. the stories come from a lake surrounded by gravestones. if bored with the reader, their text disappears.

  9. Benjamin Thomas


    Forget what I said
    Forget what I did
    Forget what happened
    Back in the day
    Forget the laughs
    Rainbows and tears
    I don’t know how
    To mend this moment
    For you to prize the now
    I guess it doesn’t really matter though
    You’ll forget what I’m about say…

  10. Jezzie

    Regretted Words

    I wish I could forget what I said.
    I should not have said
    “Let’s get wed.”
    We were great
    before that,
    you and I.
    But I have to own
    I should have known
    that you can’t cage a butterfly.

    I wish I could forget what I said.
    Many tears I cried
    after you lied.
    You’d ripped my heart
    completely apart,
    but my words so curt
    were designed to hurt.
    I should have known
    I could not bear that look in your eye.

  11. Mywordwall


    Her words escaped like steam
    rushing out of a boiling cauldron
    they hit their mark, scalded and burned
    one she claims to love.
    She bent her knees,
    begged forgiveness
    kissed the wounds, called back her words –
    “I did not mean them,” she said.
    yet even though she was forgiven
    and everything seemed all fine
    the scar that had been caused
    bleeds once in every while.
    Ah..if only stemming once words
    could be as easy as spewing bile
    then the latter’s momentary relief
    will yield to silence’s wisdom.

  12. Sara McNulty

    Call it Age

    Oh no! I can see you
    are angry with me.
    Did I say something
    this morning before
    leaving the house,
    that upset you?
    I cannot remember
    last night’s dinner,
    so it is not a sizable
    stretch for me to say,
    I do not recall
    what I said earlier.
    How about this?
    If I said something
    that offended you,
    I am sorry, so why
    not forget whatever
    it was that I said.
    Obviously, I have.

  13. jenreyneri


    Here : http://wordtraveling.com/2013/11/18/broken/

    I should’ve never said “yes”

    every ounce of me knew

    but i was tired-

    trying to find

    and hide

    and hope for true

    in the tiny pieces

    of my splitting,

    shattered, seedling soul.

    Drowning in pride.

    Details and dresses and drama and daddy’s dimes

    over my head-

    too young to be good

    on my weighted shoulders.

    Everyone knew-

    no one would speak.


    without voices-

    a muted “no”


    everywhere, and

    shattered years and tears.

    I silenced its haunting refrain

    with a hollow yes.

  14. Cin5456

    Today is Different

    Forget what I said about
    a clean sheet of paper.
    This page stares back in disdain.
    Let me work on something else.
    The topic grates on my cranium,
    though I order the words to obey.
    It hurts to be poetic about tragedy.
    Poets should feel cathartic
    after spilling pain onto paper,
    but today I feel no relief.
    The words became jumbled,
    tangled with the voice of my pen.
    My pencil was not content with its duty,
    and an eraser could not change the past.

  15. bjzeimer


    Forget what I said earlier
    about how the lawn doesn’t
    need mowed in the fall

    how you’re just wasting time and
    gas and wearing out the
    lawnmower. I know you like

    to ride your Craftsman up
    and down that embankment
    where for years I tried

    to grow wildflowers.
    A early winter storm has
    flattened out your landscape

    scheme and has blown
    away all the leaves, you were
    planning to mulch

    but just forget what I said earlier–
    here’s a couple of bucks
    for gas.

  16. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Forget What I Said Earlier

    Forget what I said,
    it was only a joke.
    Don’t snigger and point;
    forget I spoke.

    Don’t be mean, don’t be nasty,
    don’t be rude and don’t be bad!
    Put it out of your mind:
    just ignore what I said.

    If fairies seem scary,
    I can pretend
    they never existed,
    and still be your friend.

    So forget what I said,
    forget what you thought.
    I’ll say what you want
    and I’ll act as I ought.

    But deep in my heart
    I know how I feel.
    I know what I saw
    and I know what is real.

    The fairies can be
    my secret. I tried,
    but you just aren’t ready,
    so the fairies will hide.

    And you’ll never see them
    flash in the sun
    sparkling like rainbows —
    not even one.

  17. Julieann


    After it was all over
    I wish I hadn’t acted that way
    Or said the things I said
    There really had been something
    Special between my beau and I

    I’d like to chalk my actions up
    To cold feet or something
    Prosaic like that
    But stupidity seems to be the
    Only truthful reason

    I sent a letter (back in the days
    One wrote a letter) saying how sorry
    I was and what he meant to me
    I asked if he could forget what I’d
    Said earlier, if he could forgive

    I sealed that letter up
    And sent it off with a prayer in my heart
    Days passed, no answer in sight
    Until the night he drove up
    And welcomed me into his loving arms

  18. noni

    Forget what I said earlier about my daughter
    Lately her attitude is sweet as fresh water.
    The monster has chilled out
    Doesn’t stop to pout
    An anger drought
    Something to write about.
    Responsible, well she’s on her way
    Taking on more each and every day.
    My pep talk, did it do the trick?
    Gave her mojo a swift kick
    Doing things without being asked
    Yeah, this mom merely stares aghast
    Seems she is evolving, suitable young dame
    Making that teenage monster tame.

  19. taylor graham


    It was a sunny day, the lake flat blue
    with only the wakes of pleasure boats.
    Forget what I said.

    Water swallowed wakes without a trace,
    and laughter of children onshore.
    Forget what I said,

    couples sipping wine at sidewalk cafes,
    fragrance of garlic sizzling in a pan.
    Forget what I said

    rippling it with red-tile reflections, a cry
    I couldn’t grasp. A foreign language
    forgets what I said,

    as if someone drifting in a boat slipped
    away, a stranger surfacing once, twice.
    Forget what I said –

    a cry for help? It was probably just wind
    on water, its long memory of cries.
    Forget what I said.

  20. randinha

    Tentatively called


    My lips parted
    and the word formed
    from my tongue as a bubble
    that conceived
    and swelled with silence.
    The skin of the word
    enclosed its meaning
    in slippery iridescence
    and departed to float on a breath
    toward your hair, toward your
    but no, no, that’s a lie,
    for if this word had formed
    as a bubble, pregnant with silence
    and floating toward your ear,
    then I could snatch it from the air—
    but we both have heard
    the bursting of this word
    and our silence, once birthed,
    gains a name
    and remains.

  21. rosross


    Forget what I said for it is just words revealed,
    and revealing that which must be denied,
    for there is no place for such whisperings,
    or truths, in the shadowed hauntings of time,
    where who you are and where I am describe,
    deep and abiding divisions;placements which
    will not allow connection or perhaps, relationship….
    forget what I said, for it was just willful, wistful,
    wanderings of a mind, disconnected, from reality –
    torn loose from reason; dissected neatly from
    the flesh of hope; cast adrift on salted grief.

  22. bethwk

    Forget what I said before, about the round orange moon,
    but remember the one about your heart being the fire of the sun.
    Forget what I said before, about the wind in the tree,
    but remember the one about your voice being the healing breeze.
    Forget what I said before, about the dream of finding scattered gold,
    but remember the one about your sparkling eyes at noon.
    Forget what I said before, about the soft feathers of a contented hen,
    but remember the one about how the light shimmers in your hair.

  23. cbwentworth

    What of regrets,
    I told you so’s?
    Nothing salvaged,
    little to gain
    Confess your wrongs
    to make amends
    Forgive yourself,
    and those you love
    No one’s perfect,
    leave it at that
    Or spend your life
    wrapped up in woe