in my memories,

all my happiness, and all my sorrows,

all my triumphs, and all my woes,

I always return to the two years spent out east

going to a tiny Liberal Arts University.

Every time I go to write

about those years that changed me

and shaped me

for the rest of my life,

every time I start off with a poem, and end


an apology.


I am sorry.

I am sorry to my parents, 

who tried to keep me home.

Born on a small island floating off the west coast,

I longed to adventure to shores unknown,

to spread my wings and migrate to different lands.

I felt held back, repressed, 

with a dream,

a dream to write poetry.

My parents didn’t share this dream.

They saw it as a waste, a waste of my intellectual brain

why couldn’t I study science

at the campus two hours away?

“You’ll never make a living off limericks,”

they’d say.

But I

would not take no for an answer,

and fought them until I found myself

on a plane,

with two overweight bags,

and absolutely no idea

what I was about to experience.


First, the booze.

The never ending supply of liquor

reeking with the stench of nail polish remover,

I refused, and refused, and then,

got drunk.

I loved the way it numbed my lips and tongue,

I loved how it made me brave,

brave enough to tell the red head I’d been staring at

“I think you’re really beautiful”

without having to regret it the next day.

No one listens to a drunk, anyways.


Second, the boys.

They came knocking on my door,

some with faces soft as peaches,

others, sharp as barbed wire.

I refused, and refused, and then,

used them,

for every dollar, drink, cigarette, and sex,

they could provide

still unable to hide

my loneliness.


Third, the smoke.

Nicotine clouds plumed into weed,

a simple head rush became a need

to get high, to let go, to be free,

when all I really wanted to do

was write poetry,

I found myself slipping,

sleeping through lectures about Chaucer and Beowulf,

I was a slave to my habits,

and sold my soul to pay my impossible debt

of want.


After two years,

the only things I had gained 

were a slew of addictions

and 50 pounds weight.

I flunked out, flat broke, 

moved back home,

at which point my parents told me

they would no longer pay,

and, just like that, 

my dream

was over.


But, all I wanted to do

was write poetry,

and now, I’m a cashier at Home Depot.

And it’s hard to look back and say

“lesson learned”

when the lesson still burns.


So I write this apology, if to no one else,

then, to myself,

for trading my loves and needs

for wants and desires.

Dear me,

I’m sorry.

The End

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