Monday, April 13, 2015

CONFESSION - April Poem #13

I must have had a teacher who dissed the "confessional poets," because for many years I never wanted to be associated with them or even read them. But unless you are deeply, religiously invested in keeping yourself out of your own poetry, it's kinda hard to avoid. And today's prompt from Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides amounts to permission: ". . . write a confession poem. For some poets, this may come naturally - confessing feelings, actions, and/or intentions. For others, it may be hard to get personal . . . ." Well, here goes:


Sister Carmelita told us not to say "I hate . . ."
because to hate someone was to wish them dead,
and to wish a thing was as great a sin as to do it,
so to say "I hate" was the same as murder.

I'd been saying "I hate" for a long time:
I hated math, my little brother, the cranky
lady down the road and her ugly mean dog.
I hated lima beans. How would you murder lima beans?

But what if I didn't hate them, I wondered.
What if I just wished they had never been born?
Not a sin of omission, exactly, but of
imagination. And imagination is a good thing.

When Jimmy Carter confessed in a Playboy
interview to lusting in his heart, I thought,
what's the big deal? So he has imagination. So what?
Besides, he's not even Catholic.

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