by Richard Vince

When I was young, I was made to feel
Responsible for things I could not
Control, as if interest was power.

It is a habit from which I have
Never fully recovered; an illness
Into which I relapse from time to time
When things are not ideal.

I know, rationally, how the world works,
Just like I did then, but still
The defence is there, ready to
Be deployed.

I know, rationally, that we need
Guilt, but still I wish it away.
I wish I did not feel
Guilt that is not mine.

Over the years, the questioners have
Forgotten what they asked me,
But I still remember. The memory
Is like an electric shock: it hurts
But I cannot let go.


Posted on 11/10/2010
Copyright © 2022 Richard Vince

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Therese Elaine on 11/11/10 at 12:22 AM

Falling to one's knees, that knee-jerk response, set in motion an all-too repetitive motion, call and answer of the very worst kind...we can't escape the need to reflect on what went wrong and how it won't ever come right, and we remain as appalled at the necessity for self-flagellation, as much as we feel more complete for the flogging...

Posted by A. Reed on 02/21/11 at 09:25 PM

Guilt is a silly girl...

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