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Letting down

November 10, 2017

There are péchés véniels of letting down:

the dates and deadlines missed, the cards unsent,

implied commitments quietly disavowed,

and un-run errands; small forgettings. Then

the more important kind: the two men dead

because of things he failed to do; the pains

ignored, solicitations left unsaid:

his ceaseless failure to untangle shame

from guilt. You swam in swelling waters and

I looked away. You wandered unprepared

into the badlands; I could only stand

there as your voice grew ever fainter – scared

to act. You’re still not safe. I still can’t move.

I let down furthest, those I’m closest to.


Published in Pennine Platform, No.82, 2017

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