Poem of the Week, by David Ray

My new poems podcast, Words by Wintercan be found here.

“No regrets” is a phrase and a feeling I don’t understand. Regrets, I have plenty. “But every decision and every choice brought you to where you are right now,” a friend argues, in the latest iteration of a conversation we keep having. “How can you possibly have any regrets, Alison?”

How? Because of the look in my son’s eyes that one summer day. Because of the sound of my daughter’s voice on the phone that one winter evening. Because of the words someone once said to me one dark night, and how I let them lodge inside me and didn’t fight back. How can I possibly not have regrets? I tell my friend.

No, I wouldn’t change my life, and yes, I would change my life.


Thanks, Robert Frost
, by David Ray

Do you have hope for the future?
someone asked Robert Frost, toward the end.
Yes, and even for the past, he replied,
that it will turn out to have been all right
for what it was, something we can accept,
mistakes made by the selves we had to be,
not able to be, perhaps, what we wished,
or what looking back half the time it seems
we could so easily have been, or ought…
The future, yes, and even for the past,
that it will become something we can bear.
And I too, and my children, so I hope,
will recall as not too heavy the tug
of those albatrosses I sadly placed
upon their tender necks. Hope for the past,
yes, old Frost, your words provide that courage,
and it brings strange peace that itself passes
into past, easier to bear because
you said it, rather casually, as snow
went on falling in Vermont years ago.

For more information about David Ray, please check out his blog.

alisonmcghee.com
Words by Winter: my new podcast

5 comments

  1. Gabrielle McGhee · November 14, 2020

    Oh my. yes.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Diane Gottlieb · November 15, 2020

    Oh Alison! “The look in my son’s eyes that one summer day.”

    ” ,,, mistakes made by the selves we had to be,
    not able to be, perhaps, what we wished,
    or what looking back half the time it seems
    we could so easily have been, or ought…”
    XO

    Liked by 2 people

    • alisonmcghee · November 17, 2020

      It’s a hell of a poem, isn’t it? XO

      Liked by 1 person

  3. musingsnothingmore · November 16, 2020

    Thank you for this poem. Just reading my email after hanging up the phone with a crying mid-twenty year old about her Thanksgiving plans. Feeling guilty and sad. I’m printing this up. Again, thank you, Ellen

    From: Alison McGhee Reply-To: Alison McGhee Date: Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 8:39 AM To: Ellen Young Subject: [New post] Poem of the Week, by David Ray

    alisonmcghee posted: ” My new poems podcast, Words by Winter, can be found here. “No regrets” is a phrase and a feeling I don’t understand. Regrets, I have plenty. “But every decision and every choice brought you to where you are right now,” a friend argues, in th”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. alisonmcghee · November 17, 2020

    I’m so sorry, Ellen. Such a tough, tough year. Love to you and your mid-twenty-year-old. XO

    Liked by 1 person

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