Doesn’t it?

I was promised more than this, I’m certain.
Go to church/listen to me/’cause I said so—that’s why!
But these tropes are all a debtor’s bargain, a fool’s bet—
the carrot and stick that was a moment of repose
with years yet to fade away: heart and hope,
a hand to hold and no one left wanting.

All the talking, would, I thought, have been done by now,
the lessons heard and learned with everyone’s pride still intact.
I bought it all, I sold it all and am ashamed to say that I wanted it all.
Surely that counts for something.



Thank you for reading Doesn’t it? I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.

The photograph was taken at Acadia National Park in Maine. To see my photography, please visit the Book of Bokeh blog.


Photograph, notes and poem © John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original written work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © John Etheridge, The photograph is not licensed for use in any way without the expressed consent of its copyright owner.


Filed under Poetry

16 responses to “Doesn’t it?

  1. Nice poem and photography

  2. Poignant poetry, John.

  3. thefeatheredsleep

    Thank you for reading some of my work I really appreciate it. I like how you ask the hard questions most are afraid to ask. It’s refreshing and provoking.

    • “Were I born and you not” is one of those classically beautiful lines that is a perfect title and start to a poem. I could not help but be enthralled! 🙂 I liked your site very much.

  4. Beautifully penned and very touching! … Best wishes, Aquileana ⭐

    • Thank you so much! I hope it is a small recompense for the hours I have enjoyed your blog learning about the Greeks and their worldview. 🙂

  5. You write eloquently from a deep well of insight, John.