Living With Ghosts

Regret, a Chattanooga poet argues, is like a junkyard.

Regret is a divided junkyard,
which is to say the piled clutter
by the fence line, the one that keeps people
out, and the regrets heaped in the middle
may as well be in different lots.
The rusted, broken pieces around the edge
have been scattered and scoped
by crooks and critters, sometimes
even friends. If asked, I tell them
they’re welcome to them —
take as many as they can bear.
They usually only take one
or two. But the heart of the yard throbs
with emptiness — there’s not even a hole,
just bare, raked dirt. Nothing comes
from not taking chances — the only regret
nobody wants, the only one
nobody nobody nobody, I can’t throw away.

Author Profile

KB Ballentine’s latest collection, Spirit of Wild,  launched in 2023. Her books can be found with Blue Light Press, Iris Press, Middle Creek Publishing, and Celtic Cat Publishing. Published in North Dakota Quarterly, Atlanta Review and Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, and others, her work also appears in anthologies including I Heard a Cardinal Sing (2022), The Strategic Poet (2021), Pandemic Evolution (2021), and Carrying the Branch: Poets in Search of Peace  (2017). She loves to travel and practice sword fighting and Irish step dancing. When not tucked in a corner reading or writing, she makes daily classroom appearances to her students. 

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