Day 26 of the poem-a-day challenge, the prompt is Regret.
I thought about this a long time, worried some about all the things in my life I wish I’d done differently, and, as worry often does, it wound me up and froze me in place. Which is what it always does.
Then I found a quote by Thoreau that centered everything.
Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.
-Henry David Thoreau
Consumed by regret and striving to change:
perhaps what we’ve all been trained to do.
Will we ever look thin or young enough?
Is our skin soft? Our hair just the right shade?
Everywhere ads telling us to improve:
gyms, makeup, plastic surgery, diets,
all to make us believe we need to be
different, better, much less of what we are
and more of what we’re not. Ridiculous.
Regret serves a purpose. It reminds us
we’re not perfect—not meant to be either.
Regret mistakes, embrace them, learn from them.
Then let go and go on, sunshine, go on.