I never bribed a judge;
I never killed a bird,
yet I have broken promises
and shot a poison word.

I never robbed a bank;
I never beat a kid,
yet I have stolen joie de vivre
and trampled where it hid.

Without an inner guide
to curb the karmic debt,
an overblown “I never would”
becomes an “I regret.”


cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2011

Public Domain Photo

Upon Reflection

My modus operandi’s been misplaced.
Too often, guided by a flapping tongue
and jerking knee, I’ve captured barbs and flung
them carelessly about. Then, as I faced
my own reflection — sheepishly retraced
those clumsy steps — I’ve noticed how they stung.
Time truly crawls when Ego squirms. I’ve hung
my head in shame for words I spoke in haste.

So, Father, give me nothing that I ask
today, except perhaps some balm to soothe
a ruffled spouse or friend or fellow poet.
Please tilt the mirror sideways to unmask
the hidden part you see … and should it prove
to make me humble, Lord, don’t let me know it.


cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2005