Poetry promise

A SURPLUS | Sarah Little writes about the messy business of promise-making in her poem.

Poetry

by Sarah Little

Promises ain’t what they
used to be.

Remember them, deeper and more entrenched
in where they were made,
crystal glasses perched on the edge of a
tall building.

(What if there’s a storm? Do you have
a contingency plan in place?)

I made several and kept few;
you made many and kept them
to the best of your ability.

We can’t even talk now, because
this situation forbids it, predicts it,
demands it. I promise I’ll break all
my promises, break my
promise-making habit, if you’d just give me
another chance.

(I should know this already, though,
should already know how this works.
there’s no second fifteenth chance waiting
for me now)

I break all the promises I made to you,
even though you’re not here to know it now,
and recount all the ones you made to me.

You never keep them all, then, never have a
proportion of made to kept that’s even.

(but god it felt good to have you want me)


Sarah Little | @writeonepurl2 | writeonepurltwo blog
Sarah is a poet-storyteller. When she isn’t conjuring new tales or adding to her to-create list she blogs, knits (or crochets), and sometimes goes looking for shenanigans. Her work has appeared in Minute Magazine, Bye Bye Nite, and L’Éphémère Review, among others. She self-published her second poetry chapbook, Not Your Masterpiece, in January 2018. 

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