Regret, 2021

Reading a novel like there will be a test,

like your life depends on it, as if

you’ll be rendered a drooling moron

if you don’t finish it; reading a novel

instead of watching chickadees,

nuthatches, woodpeckers, and redpolls

swoop across your yard and perch

on the feeders you so carefully keep

filled with sunflower seeds, peanut butter

suet, and worry for those feathered

blessings; watching the birds instead 

of listening to your wife tell you about

the latest poem she’s written or what

the last doctor told her about her 

unrelenting pain; phoning your friend

Jim in San Francisco, whom you razz

unmercifully for playing too much golf,

instead of your son in LA, an artist 

and the finest person you know; talking 

to your son in LA when you should have taken 

your sweet dog, Mugsi, out for a walk; walking

Mugsi when you should have been writing

a poem or making a submission; writing 

poems in your study instead of crawling 

into bed with your wife for a cuddle and 

an afternoon nap; spending all that time 

thinking about death when its most sanctified 

feature involves the final cessation, 

the absolute nothingness of regret.

Image by Adam Strong

Poem by Charlie Brice

One reply on “Regret, 2021”

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