No Apologies

person showing bodies of water

Almost 40 years I have been here and
thinking about the number of
apologies that I have spoken makes
me queasy. I have begun so many
sentences with one that demeans their
purpose, to lighten my power, use
them for an easier acceptance or
cushion the force that has fueled me.

The ocean can be cruel yet finds a
way to wash things onto shore then
back out to sea again.

We force children to apologize and
think it teaches them empathy.
Instead, it teaches them to be the
victim, to harness the power to make
another indebted, to apologize, to
admit a wrong. Instead it teaches us to
blame the victim, to avoid the shame,
that there’s a price not having to
apologize; as if that makes someone

A plant can thrive from another that
did not; its green becoming more
vibrant from another turned brown.

Almost 40 years I have been here and
I am relearning what it means to be
sorry, to say I’m sorry and mean it,
and not to say it when it is not.
Finding the brakes and making them
work. I am relearning regret vs
apology, relearning gratitude vs
apology, relearning purpose and
power and acceptance and sacrifice
and blame vs apology.

I am relearning how to live when an
apology is needed and never given.

Poem by Becca Lynne

Becca Lynne is a Gateless© certified facilitator, group leader, and editor. Her book, Excoriation, and chapbook, Motherhood and Other Scars, are published by Poetry Box. Her poetry has been published in Belmont Review, VoiceCatcher, The Inflectionist Review, Feminine Collective, Cirque, Tiny Seed, and others. She leads a current series of generative writing workshops virtually, and coaches writers one on one. Becca has a degree in philosophy and creative writing from New England College. She lives in Portland, Oregon and was born and raised in New Hampshire.