Have I ever composed an apology

That did not gesture for sympathy?

I have always sought to avoid blame

And those violations which can not be

Rectified will likely destroy me.

What is an apology without amends?

And can one ever be sufficiently

Reformed to qualify for forgiveness?

I am selfish and generous

But the former, though essential

To survival, is impermissible.

How do I become a god?

That I should not want,

That I should be limitless,

Without exception and always ready.

How can I commit to promises

That do not permit my imperfections?

I understand the need

To confess plainly

But when I am the mistake

How do I avoid repetition?

I am, at least in my own mind,

More criminal than crime.

An accusation comes seemingly

At the expense of my life.

I am a coward.

I can think of no explanation for love

Only that I will never admire the portrait.

How can I see beyond my own self-loathing?

How much guilt can I ingest before

Living becomes itself taboo?

I want others to think well of me,

I am scared to acknowledge

My faults without clarification,

Clarifications inevitably beget justifications,

If I do not justify does it imply

That I do not care?

Do my justifications seek

Eradication of self?

I do not know.

I feel compelled to recommend myself

Because I cannot shake the notion

That I must earn love anymore

Than I can shake the notion

That I am undeserving of its reception.

I cannot bring myself to give you

A reason to leave.

I do not want you to leave

But experience has proven

That I am intolerable.

How can I apologize for your feelings

When they bear no semblance to my intentions

And come from insecurities furnished before

I was even born? I was not born a devil

Even if I fell directly into enemy hands.

You did not love me from the first

And perhaps not for a long time after.

There is no law against hate

Only what follows so often in its course.

I have wanted for love ever since

But those initial absences cannot be filled.

Though I have forgiven you,

I still find you prickly and take offense

Where none may have been intended.

How often you cite my short-comings

And some days I find it hard to initiate

Knowing that my failings have already arrived.


9 thoughts on “Forgive Me

  1. The last stanza… was wrenchingly painful to read. It sounds like the all too common dynamic between a couple together so long they’ve forgotten why they began… Painful and evocative.

  2. When I am the mistake. How hard a line that is to swallow. To feel like such a mistake that you must make apologies for yourself. It makes me sad.

    The thing about forgiveness and grace is that it is not earned or deserved, but given. Sometimes we need to be willing to give it to ourselves.

  3. Do my justifications seek

    Eradication of self?

    I do not know.

    Such an excellent poem… I wonder wy do I say sorry at times…
    Most times, I don´t even feel I mademistakes and yet I say forgive me…
    I think we´d better start by aknowledging our virtues and triumphs instead … Best wishes, Aquileana 😀

  4. I can offer this: one exceptionally powerful piece that resonates on so many levels – and although it may offer little by way of comfort – is is comforting – because the idea of continuing – to keep trying – is faith and self-belief itself – hope and a “knowing” that “one” is “redeemable” by one’s own choices, actions and behaviors.

    It’s a bloody long process though – and more than exhausting – but persistence does pay off – but you have to recognize one very important thing – at some point – too much digging is too much – and time is needed to simply digest – and live – without the weighing down of examining everything from all angles. The spirit soul emotional and mind – body can only process so much at one time – then it needs it rest.

    Be gentle – allow yourself rest.

    Great piece Yves 🙂

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