Sophie Dulberg

Sorry I Canít Say

Words drip from my mouth
Like molasses,
But come out
Chopped up
Like pieces of fruit.

I try to tell you,
But can’t.
Words don’t grow
Like apples on trees.
Mixed up before
Leaving my mouth,
Like a babbling baby
Just learning to speak.

Broken wings
Try to flee my lips,
Their humble nest,
But don’t.

I’m sorry for that.
I’m sorry for the words
That do escape.

I complain.
Everything I do is wrong.
Words leap
Through frustrated teeth.
What is meant
Remains hidden
Behind closed doors.
They won’t budge
Words bang,
Screaming to be heard.

I remind you of yourself.
Despite eagerness to be right,
We are wrong for trying.


We are not perfect.
We both slouch,
Backs curved,
As if we don’t belong
To the human race.

I know you want me to be better,
My imperfections are many,
But please accept me as I am
Because, like you, I’m flawed.

I apologize
For expecting you to understand
My broken words.


Copyright © 2002-2011 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose © 2002-2011 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission.