A couple of weeks ago, Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction challenge was to come up with the opening sentence for a story. This is my (updated) sentence: “They say to err is human; to forgive, divine – they got the second half of that sentence all wrong.”
I was going to write a short story about it. Some Stephen King-ish creepy, dark tale. Instead, I wrote four – yes, you read that right, four – poems. The first one is long but still an easy read. That’s the one I’m posting here. The other three are short and very, very similar, so I have to decide which one I want to post.
Until then, here is what I came up with.
I Don’t Want Forgiveness
By Ada Ireland
To err is human; to forgive, divine.
That’s what ‘forgivers’ tell us.
I learned the hard way that’s a lie.
Forgiveness, fellow sinner, is a curse.
Disguised as mercy, it is torture.
It makes you pay, over and over,
For a mistake you made just once.
If I wrong you,
Don’t give me your forgiveness.
I don’t want it.
It comes with silent and non-silent reminders
That you once forgave me and now I owe you.
I’m not allowed to make the same mistake again … or so you say.
If you truly feel godly,
If you’re inclined to show me the divine,
Forget my transgression!
Erase it from your mind completely.
Move on like nothing happened,
Then help me do the same.
But if you’re only human,
And think I have to pay for something I did wrong,
Well … let me have it. I’m ready.
Tell me how to make things right between us.
Then we’ll be even.
We’ll both move on.
We’ll love, we’ll live … and make mistakes again.
P.S. Mind you, I was not riding my bike when this came to me. I was on a long, nausea inducing road trip. I’ll understand if you gag while you read it. I certainly gagged while writing it. I still like how it turned out … of course.