But I Didn’t

But I Didn’t

I wanted to tell you it was alright to look for the lost child,
The spirit is delicate, we must nourish it,
But I didn’t.

I wanted to tell you I shouldn’t have thrown grenades,
You were on patrol in our bedroom,
But I didn’t.

I wanted to tell you we shouldn’t play blackmail games,
Words go out and return to judge us,
But I didn’t.

I should have run with you under the moon more often,
Gone to where the fish were biting,
But I didn’t.

I wanted to say I understood why you came home drunk,
Staring at the kids as if they had taken something from you,
But I didn’t.

I wanted to say I shouldn’t have served you a bowl of jealousy.
Eating the sweet blood of berries with your best friend,
But I didn’t.

I wanted to tell you I loved you,
When you came back from the war,
But you didn’t.

from The Pest Exterminator's Shakespeare (Macarthur Institute Press, 1984), ? Gary Langford 1984, used by permission of the author.

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