National Poetry Month Day 23: “Postcard to Regret” by Sean Hill


Postcard to Regret

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I visited a friend and found
I’d offended her in some way
I need not bother you with
Save to say, in this case, it was
Not the offense or my being
Remiss but the sting she felt
That brought you immediately
To mind. Remember that time
I asked you Who are your people?
As we do in the South. And you
Said Desire’s my cousin;—I’m her
Opposite. My people are many—
Those who wish now could be different.
And any friend of Chagrin is a friend of mine.

That’s why I think of you as the egress
Of the past I just had, the entrance
Of consequence, the present fallen
On the wrong side of choice or chance
From where I stand whenever
I address you—like the egret’s
Lament when it misses the cricket
If egrets were given to bewail
Missed tidbits as I would and do my
Losses, mistakes, and missed opportunities.

-Sean Hill

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Sean Hill is the author of Blood Ties & Brown Liquor (UGA Press, 2008). His poems have appeared in Callaloo, Poetry, Tin House, and numerous other journals and anthologies. His second collection of poetry, Dangerous Goods, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions in 2014. He’s currently a visiting professor in the creative writing program at UA-Fairbanks. More information can be found at

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →