Friday, March 13, 2009

The Weight

Forgive me

Love, for taking
You for granted,

For thinking

You were simply
A given: Above all,

Once and for all,
Thank you

For leaving me
Your presence

In all ways
Unjustly forgiving.

(First published in Poetry Salzburg Review #9, Spring 2006)


  1. The poem could be read as a remarkably creative variation on the William Carlos Williams' poem, "This Is Just to Say," about taking the plums. But this poem is about a different degree of coldness or inconsideration, about taking someone for granted.

    And as if acknowledging the WCW poems, Zambaras has an echo of WCW's "Just" in his "Unjustly" at the end.

    It is a complex poem, expressing remorse and love and guilt, while also a poem of hope and affirmation and commitment.

    It is also a tribute to a wife's strengths and to her generous, loving willingness to unjustly forgive. . .

    It is much more meaningful than the standard romantic tribute.

    The title of the poem adds gravity. Whereas "This Is Just to Say" sounds like it is a dashed off note, "The Weight" has a different, and serious, meaning. By the end of the poem it is as if that weight has been, as much as possible, lifted.

  2. This is just to say (and I don't care what Marianne Moore said), I, too, like it.

  3. I, too, like it that you three liked it though I'm sorry it took me so long to acknowledge it.


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