National Poetry Month: 39 Regrets

In honor of the Lefty Award Awards (congrats to the winners!), here is my Hitchcock-inspired poem, “39 Regrets,” which was published in A Sea of Alone: Poems for Alfred Hitchcock by Dark Scribe Press.

39 Regrets

There is so much in life that I’ve come to regret
Yet old Mr. Mem’ry won’t let me forget.

That five cents I stole from my mother’s black purse;
And the lie that I told that made it all worse.
The bleach that I poured in my grandma’s fish tank;
And the woman I tripped up that day at the bank.
The night that I swapped my father’s heart pills
For the ones in the cupboard that cured paltry ills.
Not to mention the holes cut in everyone’s socks;
The times that I changed all the family clocks.
The anonymous note that I sent to Miss Gluvder
To make the plain thing think that somebody loved her.

I remember the Monday I cut the school’s power,
And poisoned our neighbor’s red prize-winning flower.
I’d stolen my uncle’s big shiny revolver, 
And used mother’s perfume as car paint dissolver.
Soon after I’d pushed that dim boy down the stairs
Whose sticky warm blood wet all his head’s hairs…

And then as I grew my regrets multiplied
When I met a nice man and became his shy bride.
We moved to a two-story house down the street
And gave birth to wee waves of regrets oh so sweet:
Becky, Scottie, Lina,
Norman, John, Eve
And Pete. 

I regretted it more when I ran from it all
And rented a room in a dusty old hall,
Taking up drink and dyeing my hair
Leading the men to my taffeta lair.
The dresses, 
And late night champagne,
Were lovely at first, then drove me insane.
I needed more intrigue, a man who knew life
A fellow who knew what to do with a knife. 

I regretted the day that I met him at last
And regretted his murder to cover my past.
I then had to flee to another great city
And with a fake name, I joined a committee. 
I regret that I tried to adopt a routine
When really I shouldn’t have ever been seen.
Of course, I regret being caught by the law
I never denied that my plan had a flaw…

But my greatest regret — which some call my glory —
Was letting that fat man hear my life’s story.

(c) 2011 by Maria Alexander

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