My gang all quit when I didn’t split the take right.
We crashed and burned when I didn’t hit the brake right.

They promised me a glorious career
but I could never learn to be on the make right.

The ones with the goods to give out all demanded
sickly sweet-talk I could never fake right.

I’ve faced the fact: I’ll never get the trick
of having and eating that gooey birthday cake right.

Oh, I get by, but something’s always throbbing.
Who will tell me how to soothe an ache right?

What are the odds, when night after dreamridden night
I go to bed dead wrong and pray to wake right?

I can’t help thinking where I might end up
if I don’t go back and undo each mistake right.

Eric admitting he’s made some really big ones
is like Eve admitting she didn’t handle that snake right.


Eric Torgersen is Emeritus Professor of English at Central Michigan University. His most recent collection of poems is Heart, Wood. (Word Press, 2012). He has published ghazals in New Letters, New Ohio Review, Pleiades, 32 Poems, New Madrid, Spillway and others, including an earlier issue of The Ghazal Page.  Mayapple Press will publish his collection In Which We See Our Selves: American Ghazals.