Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Poetry 2017 / 056

For today’s prompt, write a guilty poem. The poem can be written from the perspective of someone who is (or feels) guilty, or it can be about someone (or something) else that’s guilty. But guilty of what? Cheating on a test? Or a spouse? Or a diet? Only you know, and only your poem can reveal the truth.

Heavy Burden

I wasn't there when you died.
Couldn't face it.
I wish I had, now,
but fifteen was an impressionable age
and my last memory of you
is you lying on the floor in the recovery position,
my sisters copy of First Aid at Work
open at the relevant page.
I remember her tear-stained face,
your red hair obscuring yours,
the nylon housecoat over your dress.
I waited at the bottom of the drive for the ambulance,
my father's panic as he pulled in past me,
the kindness of the paramedic.
It was a Friday
and I'd bought you a gift home from school;
a woodwork project I'd spent three months on.
I didn't visit the hospital,
didn't see you comatose, stuffed full of tubes.
I knew you were dead in all but name
even if it wasn't until the following Tuesday
(when I had my first O level exam)
that Dad gave consent for the machines to turn off.
I wasn't there when you died.
Couldn't face it.

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