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A Symphony of Circumstance



A child runs across the pavement

falls and scrapes his knee.

He cries

and cries,

outcomes his mother

fussing about, hugging her baby to her chest,


“I’m sorry”

she kisses him gently on the forehead

the child's energy

wearing out



a high school senior

wades through the crowded school halls

trying to get through

the rushed chaos

when she accidentally knocks a juniors books out of her hands

the senior calls out a rushed

“I’m sorry”

behind her

she forgets the Junior

leaving her behind

to be on time

for practice

in her pursuit

of happiness


a father stands

at the foot of his daughter's casket

blurred vision as his child's mother approaches

her new man in tow

the parents embrace, sharing cries of grief

Mr. New Guy, aware of the awkwardness


"I'm sorry"

to them both

not sure where to look

when he sees he isn't heard


a sleep-deprived cashier is ringing up a woman’s groceries

the cashier’s eyes are sallow

the woman trying to count out

crumbled dollar bills

she is a few dollars short

and looks up at the cashier, wishing for a blessing, turning first behind her


“I’m sorry”

to the Mother waiting with a screaming child next in line

the mother tapping her feet in annoyance

the baby screams incessantly

the cashier’s eyes sank lower

once more


a teacher faces her student

the test grade in hand

the student's eyes hopeful

that he finally got the grade

he’d tried harder than even the other kids to earn,

that he finally got the grade he deserved

the teacher flips over the paper

to show the failing grade

the kid’s eyes hope drops lower than the number on the test,

the math teacher says

“I’m sorry”

to the sad kid,

he swallows down his frustration

he tries not to let it show

knowing he's failing that, too


A mother is asking her teenage son what he wants for dinner,

he says “McDonald's”

she says she forgot to get gas,