Tuesday, October 15, 2019


to forgive you
i had to go back,
bitterness falling like leaves

picking up stones,
gathering them
by the basketful—

my skin, arms, and back
riven and bloodied
with the buckling load

i’d intended to throw
with my calloused
and burning hands

but the sun on the leaves
that day in october
was so glorious,

and i felt so rich,
knew i was so rich, that
i laid the basket down

at your feet and
stretched out
my arms

bitterness falling, gently,
like leaves

© 2019 jennifer wagner


  1. I like how this began and ended with "bitterness falling like leaves"

  2. Forgiveness is really a Majestic thing to experience! Well done!

  3. I like how yang turned to yin with an appreciation of beauty.

  4. There's a satisfying roundness and rightness to this poem. The natural imagery is perfect.

  5. I could feel the palpable desire for vengeance, but then I felt the relief that forgiveness brings. Excellent. Thanks.

  6. vintage Jen! <3 Stole my breath as I read it a few times.

  7. The real greatness lies in our ability to forget and maybe even forgive... Love it

  8. A wonderfully rendered piece. It's so true … an embrace forgives a multitude of transgressions. Beautiful!

  9. I could feel the weight of your basket but, then came the beautiful release.

  10. I so appreciate your take on the prompt! The road to forgiveness can be harder and much longer than the bumpy road that led you there in the first place. But it is worthwhile and necessary. For souls; for humanity as a whole.

  11. The forgiveness, the laying down of the basket of stones. Wonderful in its majesty.

  12. Love the way you began and ended this wonderful poem. You could feel the reluctance to forgive.

  13. I love your poem, but still give the blank look when somebody says I have to forgive. Perhaps the explanation is somewhere in the riven and bloody stanza of this poem.

  14. "but the sun on the leaves
    that day in october
    was so glorious,"

    J ust like an
    e normous
    n ovel of
    n ormal
    i deas that
    f lying at the
    e dge of
    r eality

  15. Cathartic... it is a new year Jen, we wait for your new Poems :)


Thank you for your thoughts!