Parking Hard Feelings – A Poem About Forgiveness

When you wrong someone, your heart will long for forgiveness at some point. When someone wrongs you, you have the power to forgive. Forgiveness is one of the most difficult yet powerful tools to master, one that can transform relationships and set both the perpetrator and victim free. In this poem about forgiveness, I explore the elusive, complex, yet gentle and liberating nature of forgiveness.

Poem About Forgiveness

I

Fist-clenching, teeth-grinding, I sat
stiff with outrage and pain.

Who do you think you are, killing me like that?

Redheaded, chair-kicking, you stood
sweating with anger and hurt.

Who does she think she is, chopping me down like that?

Eery silent rage gave way to
violent word-twisting, back-stabbing,
fatally wounding exchanges.

Like two raging bulls heading for the same red rag,
we squared up.

Hours later only pressing trivial chores managed
to prize warring factions apart, leaving behind,

Hardened hearts and hateful thoughts.
Both of us in the right, both of us in the wrong.

Distance and time worked in calm, turning rage into
gnawing injury and nibbling guilt.

Round and round you went in your head, the argument on repeat playing in the background.
Round and round I went in my head, the argument on repeat playing in the background.

You were wrong, I was right.
You were right, I was wrong.

Like a little mouse, the regret began chewing up your brain and mine,
as if though indulging in a sinful slice of full-fat cheese.

Laying bare a bond stronger than the ferocious war of words.

Hard feelings began to melt
like an icicle in the midday sun.

A longing to mend fences brewed up a new storm in my heart and yours,
fuelled by the shrill pain of the disconnect.

Still, you were an asshole in my book.
Still, I was a bitch in yours.

But the bond between us,
steadfast it stood,
demanding forgiveness
from you and from me.

Not sure who decided to park the hard feelings first.

Forgiveness ensued like a soft summer breeze,
exposing once again the love between us.

Forgiveness so sweet and gentle introduced the pulsating breath needed
to find a way back.

II

Before the deed was done and the words spoken,
I knew I was wrong, causing you pain it would take weeks to recover from.

In the process, I broke the bond because I extinguished a part of you.

Wounded like an old dog, you crawled away from me, wishing to never return no more.

I didn’t deserve your forgiveness,
my guilt was of no use to you.

I apologized anyway, you didn’t respond.

Over time, your cuts faded, but the echo of my words and deeds still rang in your head.
I apologized again, your heart began to soften.

It was your willingness to be bravely vulnerable that made
you forgive me after much time had passed.

I’m forgiving you for me, not you, you said,
don’t want to be a prisoner of hurt and rage anymore.

And the forgiveness you let grow, eventually seeped through,
setting us both free.

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