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An Addiction Named Regret

Regret is worn like an old pair of jeans
comfortably and often.
What can be said of regret;
except that it slides over us like a misty haze,
distorting our image like a convex mirror,
unnoticed by our own eyes.
It smothers us like an oil spill,
ruinous to all it touches, the effects
spiralling outward like ripples from
a stone tossed into a calm pond.

Regret is the place where misplaced hopes go to die.
It is the cup of wilted dandelions that you placed
on the window sill hoping for the praise of your mother,
her bouquet to treasure. Only her response was to ash
her cigarette in the cup, muddying the water with black silt.

Regret smells like a summer day,
one spent near the local landfill out near the
city limits, out of sight but never out of reach of
a strong wind, wrinkled noses catch the hint,
hidden under a facade of happy occasions and
fake waves of the hand under mumbled breaths.
What can be said of regret?
It never fails to call to us when our plans go astray,
A shortcut that fails to reach the appointed destination;
it leads us astray, keeps our future out of sight, always
just around the next bend, where hope fades to black as
we wait in darker corners. Regret is the option of the fearful,
and hope lives in the hearts of the less cowardice.

© Jacob Donley 2012

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