dVerse wants us to use a line from this poem by Naomi Shihab Nye, Burning the Old Year in a new poem of our own.  I chose two lines: “absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space”  and “only the things I didn’t do “  Almost half my adult life was spent  with my first husband, who died this Christmas, and I found those two lines particularly poignant.

Life changes us constantly
yet the past is immutable.
Only the things I didn’t do
remain to haunt me.

Absence shouts … leaves a space
nags at me, demands attention
makes me wonder what might have been.
What if, what if, what if…


All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
This entry was posted in free verse, short poems and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to REGRET

  1. i suppose.. one of the
    sAddest pARts oF
    modern life.. iS..
    some folks
    never even
    gain the now
    to determine
    what iT is
    out on..
    An era
    now with
    no kNows
    self iN
    liGht.. now
    iS a dArk
    age of Human Hell.. wITh
    out mirror laKes oF BeinG Human..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved every word of this. Just because you can’t live with them, doesn’t mean you don’t care about them. Had a lot of what if but now I realize everything is in proper order as it should be. No more regrets.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gabriella says:

    We all have our ‘what ifs’ but you have expressed it very powerfully. I particularly like “Only the things I didn’t do / remain to haunt me.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a touching poem by a woman who does not live on the surface of life.
    We met a young man from Noirmoutiers today. He and G enjoyed chatting in French.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Candy says:

    such authentic emotion – what if, indeed

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for sharing this, Viv. We all question, asking what if and why. Pondering and wondering. Well done, Dear!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh yes:
    Only the things I didn’t do
    remain to haunt me.
    This is such an important realization once we reach “a certain age.” Too bad it takes so long.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There are so many what ifs… but too rarely we think of those that could have made it worse… the glass is half full after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mary says:

    I definitely do understand this. We look back at life and have a lot of ‘what if’ questions! And, alas, we will never really know the answers.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. the past is immutable – what if

    That can be a long, injurious fall. Regrets are good only if they make us change ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am very sorry for the loss of your husband. From that grief has come a beautiful poem.


  12. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    Oh! this is soo touching.. the emotion thaws at the inner layers of the heart..!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. restlessjo says:

    ‘Absence shouts…’ Vivid and beautiful. How old was he, Viv? Did you remain in touch? Maybe part of the things you didn’t do. So easy to look back with regret, but immutable is right. Sending hugs this rainy British day 🙂


  14. Grace says:

    It is sad to have the thoughts of regrets, for the things we should have done ~ Sorry again for the loss of your husband ~

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Misky says:

    Excellent, although I hope these thoughts aren’t constant. >

    Liked by 1 person

  16. MarinaSofia says:

    Ah, exactly, you capture that rather self-destructive strand of ‘what ifs’ so well…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. tialys says:

    Most of my regrets seem to be property based. We always seem to buy at the peak and sell at the trough – if we hadn’t we might be better off now. Still, it’s only money and, as you say, ‘the past is immutable’.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. katechiconi says:

    I try so hard not to look back and regret. If you’re busy looking back over your shoulder, you can stumble over the realities of now. My chief regret is that I didn’t meet the Husband many years ago, but there’s no way it could have happened so I don’t waste much time on it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

I love it when you leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s