for Jennifer (unborn)

there are words you can’t take back

but none like the denial of a whole love

that rejection of another

expressed by Peter to his Rabbi


it is the cruelty of weakness

a curse on the human condition

feeding and breeding a loathsome fear

disguising itself as self preservation


this is my most mortal sin

unknown to me before your potential

before the fact, or not, of your conception

that I denied you to a truest love


not with the anger or harshness

of spontaneous irrationality

nor the unexplained entirety

of one overwhelmed by circumstance


but with a cold and calculating calm

politely presenting those promises

of all things materially required

in lieu of those compelled by conscience


a false and hollow chivalry

constructed by convenience

it concealed my profane offense

as it wasted me to worthlessness


time has brought me little comfort

for neither knowledge of God’s intent

nor the forgiveness of a former love

can heal the unwilling of self-inflicted wounds


and though life’s lessons bring new strength

they cannot steady my gaze in the mirror

or permit a request of redemption

for the soul reflected therein


but that I could find my will or strength

it would be of no consequence in this

as she before whom I first must plead

has, into this life, never been born


NOTE: Life was neither conceived

nor extinguished in the ‘making’

of this verse.  J




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