Thursday, January 31, 2013

Poem 34 - Rethinking Regret

Winter is a deeply contemplative time for me. Maybe the “going into self” mirrors the “staying indoors” that happens in the heart of winter. I don’t know. What I do know is that I often ask myself if I have regrets for the way I’ve lived my life, for what I’ve done, for what I haven’t done, for what I’ve said and left unsaid, for what I’ve forgiven and for what I’ve yet to apologize for. I try to live without regret, without impatience for slow growth (that’s a hard one), allowing, at the very most, resignation for what’s done.

Rethinking Regret
Elaine Sexton

Let’s thank our mistakes, let’s bless them
for their humanity, their terribly weak chins.
We should offer them our gratitude and admiration
for giving us our clefts and scarring us with
embarrassment, the hot flash of confession.
Thank you, transgressions! for making us so right
in our imperfections. Less flawed, we might have
turned away, feeling too fit, our desires looking
for better directions. Without them, we might have
passed the place where one of us stood, watching
someone else walk away, and followed them,
while our perfect mistake walked straight towards us,
walked right into our cluttered, ordered lives
that could have been closed but were not,
that could have been asleep, but instead
stayed up, all night, forgetting the pill,
the good book, the necessary eight hours,
and lay there—in the middle of the bed—
keeping the heart awake—open and stunned,
stunning. How unhappy perfection must be
over there on the shelf without a crack, without
this critical break—this falling—this sudden, thrilling draft.

from Sleuth
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