Poem of the Month: Regret by Steve Alden Nelson

Regret is a twisted muscle

Hanging on by torn cartilage

It will not heal itself or diminish over time

It will instead breed infection and a lingering pain

That will erupt from time to time

Flaring up like a psychic volcano

Shooting out sideways during inappropriate times and places

Regret will manifest in tempers lost during traffic jams

Regret will load the gun and name some other

For the invisible ache inside

Regret will wear your blankets threadbare

The chill seeping through the screen door of frayed fabric

And into your dreams

The ones that used to carry you to distant magical lands

Now bordering on nightmares

Regret stands guard in full battle gear

Regret is patient 

Smiling ear to ear

Regret will not let go

It must be slowly severed by the diamond blade of clarity

By the pulleys winches and grinding gears of self-awareness

Regret knows itself to be a waste of time

But is no less relentless

Regret does not want us to figure out the rules of the game

But we begin

By gently rattling the house of cards 

That regret would have us believe is an impenetrable fortress

Regret looks hungrily toward a long future

But must be relegated to the past

Where it is only vague memory

Ashes of remorse 

Blown away by the gentle winds of self-love

And forgiveness






Steve Alden Nelson is a screenwriter, poet, playwright, lyricist, award-winning actor, and former newspaper columnist.  He lives in Silver Lake (Los Angeles) with his wonderful husband Sab.



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