Advice for Disposing of Regret

Suggestion #1: Hide it

Under the bed or in the closet
Though you never know who will find it
Smelling of wet dog.

Suggestion #18: Burn it

A swirl of smoke
Ends with cardinal wings
Blazing through pines,
Then nothing.

Suggestion #29: Sell it

Good luck.

Suggestion #45: Call the professionals

Who will dispose of it safely,
Who won’t ask questions like
Why didn’t you marry her? Were those
Your best days?
Who charge by the hour plus a small fee
For each relationship.

Suggestion #68: Bury it

In the backyard under the flaking birch
Your parents planted the day you were born.
If the tree is not there find another equally old,
Dig a hole about six feet from the trunk
Deep and wide as a coffee can.
If the current owners yell, explain
That it will feed the worms, that it
Will sprout sprays of yellow next spring.

Suggestion #93: Keep it

On the windowsill by the desk.
One day while boxing your things
Your daughter will not know
What to do with it.
She might carry it down to the ocean,
Pocketed against her thigh to leave
For the waves, or she might dump it
In a green hefty bag piled
Anonymously among other heaps.

Stephen Siperstein lives in Cambridge, MA and teaches writing and environmental studies at Stonehill College in Easton, MA. His poetry has appeared in Ecotone, Meetinghouse, Listenlight and Town Creek Poetry.