This is the penultimate poem
in a thirty day challenge--
not the last poem, 
but the next to the last.

But it could be the last,
just like today might be my last day
or the next breath might be my last.
I hope not, but anything's possible.
We tend to avoid thinking those things.
We don't want to face the fact that 
all things come to an end, the good and the bad.
When I mention a future time when I'm not here,
you grimace and tell me not to talk like that.
I'm not trying to depress you,
but facts are facts.
The last time will come,
whether we want it to or not,
whether we think about it or not.

I could argue that the world might be better
if we all thought it was our last day.
We might say the I love yous we left taken for granted,
or try something we've been afraid of 
because there was nothing left to lose.
We might realize the pointlessness of anger and grudges
and let them be forgotten.
What might be accomplished if 
we knew it was our last chance?

I hope this isn't my last poem;
I feel like I have more inside me
waiting to be set free,
but as I said before you never really know.

This is the penultimate poem,
and I hope it won't be the last,
but just in case I want to say
you're important to me,
you make me happy.
If I hurt you, I'm sorry.
If you hurt me, I forgive you.
I love you,
Let me say that again—I love you.
I love you.
I love you.
I love you.

~Elise Skidmore ©2022

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  1. So beautiful, Elise. And I hear you… and your words are perfect. I’ve lost someone suddenly, and I know how important it is to say those things to the people we care about, even if they think we’re weird.

    1. Thank you, Lisa. It means a lot to hear that.
      You know, then the prompt came to write a “Last ____” poem, I dithered for a while. I didn’t want to travel down poetic paths I’ve visited too often. And then the “last poem” came to me, and I thought, no, it’s not the last, but it *could* be. After that it sort of took on a life of its own. It always makes me feel good to know my words have resonated with a reader, so thank you again for your kind words.

  2. My friend I hope this won’t be your last …anything. But just in case know this. You are so talented and very special to many. Your words will live on and I am so glad that we are friends. 😊✌️🤘

    1. Aw, thank you, Rosemary. It means a great deal to know that. This wasn’t written with intention to sound depressing or imply I’m on my last legs (you should pardon the pun), only something that started with a prompt of The Last ____. It got me thinking about how we all think we have tomorrow, but it’s not guaranteed to any of us.

  3. Hello Elise, it was nice to find this today, and you. I find myself having similar thoughts and it’s nice to see someone else expressing them so well. It looks like I found a distraction for the rest of my evening.


    It’s been two weeks since I made my first chili;
    it’s success remained among dozens
    of opened browser tabs.
    As if I may forget the details of such
    a personal triumph, I decided to save
    the link within a bookmark.

    The rarity of this action by me
    only complicates what should be
    a simple task: having to learn
    each time how to bookmark
    a page. Returning to reopen
    is even rarer and evident as I scan
    an awkward list I’ve never maintained.

    All the bookmarks I have created
    seem so unimportant now
    but they are there in some form
    of a cage, unhitched from all
    that I know. I never needed
    to mark them; the important ones
    had marked me.

    dab-out of practice

    1. Oh my goodness! dab! It’s been so long, it took me a minute to realize you weren’t a spammer–but then spammers don’t write such nice things and include their own poetry! (Which I much enjoyed, btw!) I’m so glad you found me and remembered how to open your bookmarks. Now I just hope you don’t go missing the way you so often used to back in TCU.
      PS–Finding all your posts really brightened my day!

      1. It has been a long time and I am glad you remembered me. I was always missing because writing is something I think of doing way more than I do it, but I still think about it almost daily. The poem I left here is the first thing I’ve written in many many years. Every so often I will look for a forum but I never have any luck finding one.
        I am excited to read through “Looking for the Light:Hindsight is 2020”,;it arrived today and I just browsed thru and am amazed at how substantial it is! Once I have spent some time with it I would love to share my thoughts on it with you. Would it be best to leave them here or would you prefer a different avenue?

        1. Oh, I do hope you’ll enjoy the book–maybe even write a review at Amazon if you do?
          Are you on Facebook? There’s a private group there (not terribly active these days) made up of folks from the old forum. I’m sure they’d pop out of the woodwork to see you if you wanted to join. I also belong to another poetry group at Facebook, if you’re interested.
          I will send you an email so you’ll have my address and we can talk about that and the book whenever you’d like. Don’t go missing again!