Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Apology--By James Keane--United States


Seeing now and then
the photo of the pool-eyed
little boy you were, secure
in your mother’s
willowy arms of iron
upholding you, I remember
again the grace of the arc
your older body flew in
after unfeeling arms
surrounded you, and down
into the deep end
I threw you in - never
to forget, forever
to regret
your tender
and hurt in the sinking,
fleeting moment
our eyes met.

Originally published in the Tipton Poetry Journal.

Explanation from the writer: The poem was inspired by the memory of throwing my son Nicolas into a swimming pool when he was seven or eight years old (he's now 25). Interestingly, the springboard for writing the poem was a photo of my wife holding Nick very securely with both arms when he was just shy of two years old. The marked contrast between a wonderful photo of mother and son and a father's regrettable memory fueled the writing.

James Keane lives in northern New Jersey, USA with his wife and son and a menagerie of merry pets. His poetry chapbook, What Comes Next, was published in 2013 by Finishing Line Press. His poems have appeared recently in WINK: Writers in the Know, the Tipton Poetry Journal, vox poetica, and Whispers.


  1. Dear James,

    I think your boy understands, I feel a lot of love between these lines.

    Best wishes,

  2. Very good catch 22 James
    Knight Writer

  3. Your poem expressed the regret that all parents feel about a time in raising our children when we did the wrong thing that continues to haunt.

  4. Thank you all very much for your comments. They are much appreciated.