Residue / Our Pride

Photo by Earl Wilcox on Unsplash

I was told
there were regrets,
sadness over the things
gone sour.

Still to this day
it’s never been confirmed
to my face
by you, the one concerned.

I am determined
to maintain
it will always be
a little too late.

As it is, your stupid goodbye gift –
I’ve thrown it well away.

It might be pre-birthday angst, hormones or summer-fuelled heat, but when I sat down to write this month’s blog poem there was annoyance in the pen. I had been toying with a poem about the cost-of-living crisis (“levelling up with price matches”) or being left with an empty bed and sheets needing washing (“changing sheets again”) or being confronted by time’s speedy passing (“left too late”). (Interesting that in their descriptions both a laundry chore and the passing of time become states of being in my sentence.)

My mother has a philosophy that if she hears from someone a relay of something said about her by someone else, and especially if the something is criticism, it counts for nothing. If you want to say something to her, you ought to do so to her face. It’s a view I’ve inherited. And let me share, it isn’t always shined on as a response to managers in the workplace: “Whatever the Head of the Unit has to say about me, he can say it to me himself, otherwise I’m not considering it relevant.” I’ve learned with time to react differently, but in the realm of poems it means nothing unless you say it directly, to my face.

In this poem the matter is a pseudo-apology from one party to another expressed to an intermediary. Forget such nonsense! Say it to my face.

But it may be a little too late.

I looked for poems with a similar tone. It seems my poetic pen has a knack for diluting negatives into whimsy. Here is a selection of poems that have a darker undertone:

At the right age

Livelihood – Listen to me you golden beauty

An overdose of summer

Small talk

The overdose of score

See @beadedquillwrites (Insta) for photo’s plus micro, everyday poems.

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Books are for sale on Blurb, including Jangle between Jangle, poems written during the London commute.

Published by BeadedQuill

Author of over 300 poems, also books, essays and short stories. Published in the Johannesburg Review of Books, Carapace and Type/Cast. BeadedQuill's titles are for sale via

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