The theme for this week is Forgiveness. Hmmm. Okay. I vaguely remembered reading a poem about forgiveness… but could I find it? It turns out that was quite a challenge… but, thankfully, not one that was at all painful! I spent an afternoon perusing my poetry books, as well as looking online on the Poetry Foundation I had read from my library… with no luck at all in finding the poem I was thinking about.
I had three other poetry resources to check… poetry I listen to…The Slow Down, Poetry Unbound, and The Writer’s Almanac. Of course, it was Pádraig Ó Tuama who shared the poem on forgiveness that I am sharing today. I have printed it and placed in my journal so I can revisit it frequently. It is such a lovely reminder that forgiveness needs to start with yourself. I hope you enjoy this poem as well!
For leaving the fridge open
last night, I forgive you.
For conjuring white curtains
instead of living your life.
For the seedlings that wilt, now,
in tiny pots, I forgive you.
For saying no first
but yes as an afterthought.
I forgive you for hideous visions
after childbirth, brought on by loss
of sleep. And when the baby woke
repeatedly, for your silent rebuke
in the dark, “What’s your beef?”
I forgive your letting vines
overtake the garden. For fearing
your own propensity to love.
For losing, again, your bag
en route from San Francisco;
for the equally heedless drive back
on the caffeine-fueled return.
I forgive you for leaving
windows open in rain
and soaking library books
again. For putting forth
only revisions of yourself,
with punctuation worked over,
instead of the disordered truth,
I forgive you. For singing mostly
when the shower drowns
your voice. For so admiring
the drummer you failed to hear
the drum. In forgotten tin cans,
may forgiveness gather. Pooling
in gutters. Gushing from pipes.
A great steady rain of olives
from branches, relieved
of cruelty and petty meanness.
With it, a flurry of wings, thirteen
gray pigeons. Ointment reserved
for healers and prophets. I forgive you.
I forgive you. For feeling awkward
and nervous without reason.
For bearing Keats’s empty vessel
with such calm you worried
you had, perhaps no moral
center at all. For treating your mother
with contempt when she deserved
compassion. I forgive you. I forgive
you. I forgive you. For growing
a capacity for love that is great
but matched only, perhaps,
by your loneliness. For being unable
to forgive yourself first so you
could then forgive others and
at last find a way to become
the love that you want in this world.
Phase One from Bring Now the Angels by Dilruba Ahmed, © 2020.
Please visit Kym, Bonny, and Sarah and see what Forgiveness Poem they are sharing today.
I will see you all back here next Monday! Have a great weekend everyone!
Thank you for searching for this poem about forgiveness; I think the time you spent looking was worthwhile! I loved reading all the conditions that the author is offering forgiveness for, and especially the recognition of the big one at the end: For being unable to forgive yourself first so you could then forgive others and at last find a way to become the love that you want in this world.” What a wonderful poem!
This is so lovely. I think what it captures for me is the little things that get on our nerves that our partners or family members do, but what we often forget is that they most often are not doing them willfully or to annoy us. Like when my husband cleans up after dinner, he has a habit of leaving one thing uncleaned. At first, I thought it was a passive-aggressive thing, but really it’s just a matter of him being preoccupied with work and other things and just forgetting. Letting go of that and forgiving him for being wrapped up in his thoughts was so freeing for me.
What a great poem, Kat! It really gets to the heart . . . of all the tiny “forgivenesses” required in our everyday relationships! XO
Forgiveness is a gift to others and ourselves. This poem captures that beautifully.