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Fein, Richard, 1944- / The required accompanying cover letter: poetry
(2011)

A guilt-free sorry,   p. 43


Page 43

A Guilt-Free Sorry
"Dear applicant, we're sorry to say no to you."
But if no brings sorrow why say it?
Wouldn't a yes salve your sadness?
Sorry? the word's lack of nuance nags me,
for it's such a guilt-free sorry.
Your rejection of my application didn't use words like
repent, atone, contrite or remorse
for such words imply a sorry of your own doing,
a sorry that screams for undoing.
But there's no hope of that, is there?
No hope of you including me among you.
You hand me just a perfunctory sorry
and of course an insincere sincerely yours.
You probably forgot about me the moment you mailed that sorry to
"applicant's address."
Or maybe you're still having a condescending laugh over my application,
and your sorry is really a euphemistic snicker.
But sorry to me is real.
Repent, atone, contrite, are also real,
and I use them now remorselessly.
I repent, atone, and am very contrite
that I applied to you in the first place.
And so I also declare with my deepest guilt-free sorry,
that you have not deigned to elect into your grand collegium-
me, myself, and I, the one most skilled in crafting the sincerest sorriest of we're sorry
to all those pretentious enough to apply for inclusion among your minions.
43


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