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Drowning in Regret vs. Boogie Boards

2012 November 25
by Ann L. Carter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No mice sightings or captures to report.  However, I have put a note by the kitchen window as a reminder to take a look in the live trap.  One year I forgot to check and later found three dead mice.  I will always regret that even as I see some humor in the irony of it all.   It’s a strange thing, regret, weighing you down with memories you don’t want.   It is said (and I tend to agree) that we are more likely to regret the things we didn’t do than the things we did.   I fear it comes from a lack of courage on my part, an inability to get rid of those worst case scenarios that are swimming around in my head, those terrible things that could happen if I leaped into the water with both feet at once.  And when that’s happening, when I know I’ll regret what I didn’t do, I so desperately want to be the Ann of my childhood dreams, a cowgirl on her pinto pony, galloping across the hills in search of adventure and, of course, animals to rescue.  Sometimes, however, I get a taste of her. Today I wrote a poem about regret and boogie boards.

 

Regret can pull you down

like the silent undertow

that takes you out to that deep place

where you stop fighting.

 

Or drags you along the sand near the shore

filling your nose and mouth

with the age old grit of bad memories.

 

This is the undertow that makes you fearful

to go in the water

that makes you watch from the shore

and later makes you regret your fear of regret.

 

Be like the woman

who at 56

wearing a two piece tankini

over her rounded middle

borrows her daughter’s boogie board

and heads into the sea.

 

Who tries to catch a wave

that will take her back

in one exhilarating ride.

 

Who is swept under

again and again

soft skin scraping the rough bottom

gasping for breath when she reappears

whose daughter asks her to get out of the water

admitting she’s afraid for her mother.

 

Who is amazed by her own desire

her craziness that won’t let go.

 

Who walks out of the waves and says

to the young stranger watching her

that she hasn’t felt this alive in years.

 

 

Helen’s boogie board

 

 

 

 

 

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