WE FIND OURSELVES

We are wholly innocent
we are wracked with guilt.
There is nothing we did,
but what is there that we
did not do, that we
should have done, that we
might have said so it would
never have happened, or
happened less, or happened
despite everything we did?

We carry our innocence
as a badge, we wear our guilt
as an albatross around our neck,
dragging us, slowing us,
forcing us to acknowledge
our guilt, plead our innocence.

In the streets of Ukraine
the war, the destruction continues
as we, the innocent, the guilty
can only watch in horror.

THE MISSING KEY

You said you’d leave a key
under the mat on the front stoop,
or was it taped atop the light fixture
just to the right of the door jamb top?

Well I checked both places
and there was no key to be found,
so perhaps it slipped out, got kicked
and someone absentmindedly took it

and saved it meaning one day
to return it, or tossed in in the nearest
garbage dumpster they could find,
or is wearing on a chain around their neck.

I did pause to consider that this key
could be a metaphor for your feelings
and that perhaps I was victim of my own
dream of a love that was never to be.

But that would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it?

First published in Dreich , Issue 10, Autumn 2020 (Scotland)