A Path Not Taken by Jennifer Frederick




Robert L. Penick

I’d like to find some desiccated

shell of a woman, tired of failure and

full of nervous tics, always pushing

her hands out into the dark, beyond

the candlelight and television glow,

reaching into the abyss of night

to rummage for her meaning.

Let her be a whore, a former fool

or someone who bet on the wrong man

and lost, badly, wearing the scars,

tracks, and crow’s feet as proof that life

can be an endless stream of rejection slips

from parents, lovers, schools, banks,

employers, and God.

Let us find one another and step

quietly into shadows of our own

devising; let us grow mad

with genius, fat with promise, and

let us carve ourselves into this world

like brilliant, beautiful wounds.



Robert L Penick’s poetry and prose have appeared in over 100 different literary journals. More of his work can be found here.