Writings and Witterings

not sorry yet


Meadow Run Away

four-year-old legs pumping running away
ma shouts after me ‘come back’ sister wails
ma is livid i pushed the bowl downstairs
this is how she sees it it is my fault
a tall ten-pint goldfish bowl three goldfish
i run down the meadow behind our house
it is hay-making time yellow grass scent
and dust tickle my nose and make me sneeze
sneeze stops me for long enough she catches
me i have glanced behind in my run and
seen her struggling with my little sister
but ma is grim-faced and determined that
i will be caught and punished it was an
accident i tripped knocked into the bowl
which bounced down each stair fish flying water
arcing the finest mirrored droplets splash
the sound of breaking glass tinkles downwards
she comes out of the kitchen babe on hip
and roars ‘nooooo’ i flee out the open door
my legs pump i feel my heart i hear my
breath coming jagged i smell the hay i
sneeze she catches me she screams thrashes me
and at each step thrashes me again all
up the meadow back into the house she
is crying hot angry tears me howling
mortified indignant rebellious
an accident i sob my jaw jutting
i am but four-years-old not sorry yet

Polly Robinson © 2012

‘For this week’s Poetics’ said Fred Rutherford aka Hobgoblin at dVerse, ‘I thought we could work in First Person Narrative.’ An opportunity to put up a favourite poem that appears in my poetry collection Girl’s Got Rhythm in which we see a four-year-old speak of injustice. And we might think about perspectives …

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66 thoughts on “not sorry yet

  1. not sorry yet…great closure…and intense scene as well ha…i have been there, an accident and running from mom…lol…its all about saving your keister at that point but….you gotta go home at some point…smiles….fun piece…poor fish…

  2. I found myself reading faster and faster throughout. I enjoyed the narrative, and loved the ending…..and its meaning!

  3. Wonderful poem…brings back memories that’s for sure, the staying away for as long as you can… Mum always gets you in the end though!

  4. oh my…brought back some childhood scenes as well…you brought the scene so vividly to life and i feel so sad for the fish as well..smiles

  5. Oh, this is one of my favorites of yours–I remember it!

  6. glad you included this piece with us tonight. A great share, really like the point of view here

  7. Ooh, Fred, is that you? A different name … great prompt if it is you ~ gosh you’re like Fred if you’re someone else !!!!! :)

  8. Neat story. Nicely told. I don’t recall anything like that, personally, but then I had three brothers to blame.

  9. so wonderful and so full of feeling

  10. Like the way your pacing conveys the adrenaline rush of the events unfolding.

  11. Fast-paced and true to a toddler’s ways.

  12. Wonderful headlong pace here! k.

  13. ….an on-point piece…very clever… totally reminded me of my childhood days when i used to, often, do the same running… and running ’til you get caught yet still not guilty and which too predictable for somebody so young and vivacious… ..and yay poor fish… amazing read… smiles…

    • Oh boy, good to see the running / catching familiar and that sense of being ‘not guilty’ … and yet, and yet … the child did knock the fish bowl over, the mother was having a heavy day: middle of cooking / carrying younger child around etc when this ( on top of everything else?) occurs … Must say I have some sympathy for the mother here too :)

  14. Amazing memory. All that detail from four years old. You obviously enjoyed writing this, and I sure enjoyed reading it! Well done.

    • Thank you, David. Pleased to see you enjoyed ‘not sorry yet’ ~ not wholly memory as more interested in exploring perceptions of the same incident ~ how would the mother see this? I think we know how the child sees it :)

  15. I love the way this is written – it pulls you through the story so well. And we all have that kind of story somewhere in our memories, so it is easyily relatable.

    • Thank you Tony, it went through several formats before realising it needed no capitals and no punctuation to make it just right for the four-year-old’s voice ~ thanks for commenting.

  16. Awesome write, Polly! You nailed the scene and character, and the story flowed wonderfully. Very enjoyable read. and, it wasn’t a goldfish bowl, but, been there done that.

  17. Accidents happen and at four, no, they haven’t really learned to be sorry yet…lol
    Poor fish, I would have run too.

  18. Wow. Love the mix (of the adult voice in the four-year-old saying exactly what I reckon the four-year-old would say), and the breathlessness and the thrill of having done wrong and hoping to get away – it’s all there. Good one, Polly (not only if I think it is).

  19. Poignant, sad memory. It made me tear up for that little girl to whom I’m sending a virtual hug.

  20. ah… those little ones are something

  21. Good one, Polly. “last night’s garlic was good last night” is great, both as a ‘one-liner’ and the way it takes up the sound of the chackety chack. Also the squeeze on the tube that is there in the poem (and the other tube, the toothpaste one)

    • Ah, you’re commenting on ‘Morning Town Ride’ :) You’ll have gathered it’s about London in the summer heat (though the tube’s not that very different in winter [!]) Lots going on in that poem ~ it was great that it was chosen for the first edition of Nain Rouge. Now that you’ve a blog you might take a look at dVerse poets, they give some smashing prompts and are very generous with their comments if you do the same for them. http://www.dversepoets.com :)


  23. That’s crushingly intense!

    • Yes.

      In what way do you find it intense?

      Thanks for comment, Seb.

      • because you can’t breath in it. about 6 line sin you take a gasp and you have to hold it to the end. Your eyes can move off the page because you are afraid the words will either run away or sneak up behind you and clobber you with a backjack. Stuff like that.

  24. Wow Polly, I haven’t been by in a while and THIS is what I come back too!! I could feel that one. Really Really terrific piece!!

    • Thanks Maggie, good to see you. What’s your focus just now, babe? You’re not blogging so much … do I sense a poetry collection coming up?

      • :) Yes!!! I’m so excited. It should be out this coming Spring. I’ve been invited to participate in a couple anthologies, as well so I have been working on that, but mostly the collection. I feel bogged down with time though between that and my regular day job. I’m on my lunch break now and am happy I got a moment to come visit you here <3

  25. Just reread this. As the grindstone rears its granite head I wonder if I might be allowed to use this on/with my students when I do Interior Monologue. I really think it is very good – and it is also an example of how the choice of a title is important. Great stuff this, it really is.

  26. One of my favourites!! :)

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  28. Pingback: When I sneeze words | Daniyal's Thought Radiator

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