“Sorrowful Ode” by Richard Jackson

I’m sorry for still loving you this way. I’m sorry for letting these
lunge between us the way the wind does through a tiny knot of
I’m sorry for letting them ferment the way the sun does each
There’s no excuse, and yet, maybe I am not so sorry for still loving
this way. I don’t pay any attention to the way the filament in the
glows for only a few seconds when the light goes out. It doesn’t
matter to me that the river stores the city’s lights only to sweep them

Sorry or not, I don’t think there is anyone left in my soul.
I am not so sorry for still loving you this way, the way a sunken
recalls its sail. Sometimes I think the heart is a beehive someone
turned over. Sometimes it is a silkworm building its obscure
There must be a few derelict constellations with no light to show
us yet.
I’m sorry, but sometimes I also think you have created the night.
Other times I think you must have inhaled the breath of stars.

I’m sorry for loving you this way, for loving you still. Each
hollowed out the way water drips for centuries through a sandstone cave.

The ambulance siren slithering away through the streets but
lingering on.
The wood frogs freezing themselves dry all winter to revive in
I’m sorry, but maybe the truest love is the most desperate. I’m
I’m not sorry. Sometimes I think these words rot like fallen fruit,
sometimes I think you are the smell of rain that inhabits the air
before a storm

Richard Jackson, Prairie Schooner (Volume 81, Number 2, Summer 2007)

3 thoughts on ““Sorrowful Ode” by Richard Jackson

  1. This is beautiful in the best and most heartbreaking ways. It’s also featured in a publication that I found way back in my twenties.
    I thought, if I ever get published in Prairie Schooner, then that means I’m a real writer.
    Obviously, I’ve matured since then. But, it doesn’t change the fact that PS captures that “Holy-Crap-Gut-Punch” level of talent.
    I read this yesterday and had to come back for more today.
    I could still see the filament after the light was switched off 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry.
      I’m not sorry.
      Sorry not sorry.
      Miss Daryl Stealer.
      I love the stories behind personal reactions to different poems. I just love back stories and the reasons our guts wrench and our hearts clench when certain memories are drawn forth.

      Liked by 1 person

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