Regret Poems

Regret Poems

Poems About Regret, Remorse and Sorrow

Regret can make us feel an unrelenting bitterness like no other emotion. While regret can help us to avoid repeating a mistake, if left uncontrolled it can wreak havoc on a person. Hours, days, or weeks spent feeling regret for a past mistake is usually counterproductive. It can impede us from moving on with our life and letting go of the past. So how can someone dealing with regret cope? Many find that reading and writing poems that deal with their feelings allows them to let go once and for all.

32 Poems about Letting Go Of Past Mistakes

  1. 1. Words Unsaid

    "Words Unsaid" is a poem that expresses a heart full of regrets with the feelings it hid for a long time. It's a poem about words unspoken and feelings that were never shown. In love, one should gamble everything - even pride. However, there are times in our lives that realization comes when all the chances were gone. And you can do nothing but to feel how your whole soul is being torn up.

    Poem Regretting Lost Love

    Regretting the moments I took for granted,
    Moments when I was eaten by pride and hatred.
    What if I had told you what I feel?
    Would it change my life's wheel?

    I was so afraid to fall in love deeply,
    For mending a broken heart will never be easy.
    I have been rotting in that hell before,
    And I don't want to be there anymore.

    But why is my heart crying in pain?
    Why do I feel that my life's turning so plain?
    Should I have told you that I love you?
    Should I have showed you that it's true?

    They say some words are better left unsaid,
    Emotions should be kept till they fade.
    No, scratch all the cowardice and negativity,
    Because saying what you feel is the real bravery.

    So what if you won't love me back?
    At least there will be no what if's in my mind.
    But it's too late for me to realize this fact,
    'Cause now you're gone and you'll never be mine.

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    I can relate. I also loved a man for a long time but even until now, he doesn't know. Maybe I was also scared of rejection but it is all in the past now. I can feel the emotions of the...

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  3. 2. "It Might Have Been"

    Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) uses this poem to show that people have the power to make their own destiny. Most of the stanzas start with “We will (be/do/climb),” which brings attention to the belief that we will each become what we set out to become. This poem is made up of quatrains (four-line stanzas) that follow the ABAB rhyme scheme. Although Ella Wheeler Wilcox was born to poor family and received many rejection letters for her poetry, she remained optimistic and kept working hard for what she wanted.

    We will be what we could be. Do not say,
    "It might have been, had not or that, or this."
    No fate can keep us from the chosen way;
    He only might who is.

    We will do what we could do. Do not dream
    Chance leaves a hero, all uncrowned to grieve.
    I hold, all men are greatly what they seem;
    He does who could achieve.

    We will climb where we could climb. Tell me not
    Of adverse storms that kept thee from the height.
    What eagle ever missed the peak he sought?
    He always climbs who might.

    I do not like the phrase, "It might have been!"
    It lacks all force, and life's best truths perverts:
    For I believe we have, and reach, and win,
    Whatever our deserts.

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  5. 3. Regret

    I wrote this poem for my cousin, who was raped when she was 15. She's now 27 and married with two kids and is very happy.

    Raped While Drunk

    You told me that you loved me
    And would never break my heart
    You said that it was fun
    That it wouldn't hurt.

    So I took the cup from your hands
    And put it to my lips
    I started to get dizzy
    And felt your hands around my hips.

    You led me up the stairs
    And into a dark place
    You laid me on the bed
    And put your hands around my face.

    You slipped of my shirt
    And undid the button on my skirt
    You put yourself on top of me
    Then it started to hurt.

    The only thing I heard
    Was you laughing in my ear
    Your hot breath in my face
    And the stench of too much beer.

    When you were finished
    You rolled over on the bed
    Put your arms around my waist
    And kissed me on the head

    Then you got up
    And got something from the floor
    I heard the break of plastic
    Then you got on top of me once more.

    This time it was louder
    As the headboard hit the wall.
    You were taking away my innocence
    My hope, you took it all.

    Finally you stopped
    Got up and walked down stairs
    You left me all alone
    Crying, cold, and scared.

    I don't remember everything
    But that moment I'll never forget
    When I took the first sip of beer
    The thing I most regret.

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    I was raped, and he took my v-card. I was never the same. It broke me, and I'm still trying to repair.

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  6. 4. Another Day

    • By Kirsty Kennedy
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems May 2019

    Hi, I'm Kirsty. I'm 32 and live in Scotland. I wrote this poem after my gran passed away suddenly. This poem expresses how I felt and how guilt can play a big part during grief and how you should appreciate the people you love while you still can.

    Regret Not Spending More Time With Loved One

    Life gets very busy.
    Things get in the way.
    Do I have time to visit?
    I'll go another day.

    There's no sense of urgency.
    You think you still have time
    To go again another day.
    You tell yourself it's fine.

    Until you realize you're too late.
    Another day won't come.
    The truth too hard to contemplate.
    The past can't be undone.

    Your heart, it aches for all the times
    You never got to see
    This person you loved so much,
    But you were never free.

    You'll never hear their voice again
    Or look into their eyes.
    People will say it's for the best
    But to you it feels like a lie.

    Your loved one is at peace now
    With the ones they had lost.
    You have to make peace somehow
    With this devastating loss.

    Stop thinking it will all be fine
    Or that you don't have time today,
    For all you know, you won't have time
    To go another day.

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    I turned 67 this year and have been searching for old friends online. I went to college in a city 1500 miles away. It was probably the best time of my life. I have now looked for four friends...

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  7. 5. The Window

    • By Jake Tipton
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems January 2009

    My mom and dad were divorced when I was two. I saw my mom maybe 12 times in my life. I never knew why the divorce happened. Then one day I got a phone call from my dad saying he was coming to pick me up. My dad told me she had always been a bad druggie and he was scared for me. That's what had killed her. The last year of her life I didn't call her because she didn't call me. I only sent her one card, which said why haven't you called? I can see her dying thinking her son didn't care. I hate what I did and regret it so much...

    Poem Regretting No Relationship With Mother

    I look out the window and what do I see?
    Except for a better version of me?
    He did the right where I did the wrong
    So, I'm the one that wrote this song
    I'm here soaking up regret in the air
    You died thinking I never did care
    I wish I would've made the right choices
    Now it's too late, but I hear the voices
    Saying all I should've said
    I never knew you would end up dead
    If I could have one last moment with you
    I would die to let you know I love you too
    The three seconds it would have taken to make that call
    To show how much I cared after all
    So if you were here, what would you ask of me?
    I just want to know what you would want me to be
    If you were here would you be proud?
    But now you're lost in the grim reaper's shroud
    You were the one that taught me right
    And you were the one who stole away in the middle of the night
    Now I lay awake in bed
    With thoughts of you in my head
    Why didn't I say that four letter word?
    If only you hadn't died before you heard
    I was so wrong and now I see
    You only wanted the best for me
    So as I lay here seeing you now
    I only wish I could tell you somehow
    That even though the call you awaited never came
    I did and do love you all the same
    And now I only wish I could have seen the light
    As I look out the window on this fateful night

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    My dad left me all alone and I never see him at all. People say that divorce is hard and they have no possible idea.

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  8. 6. Secrets

    • By Nicole
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems June 2008

    This is a poem about a girl who wasn't committed at the start and cheated, after she realized she was actually in love, she realized the lie she has to carry.

    Regretting Cheating

    do your secrets rip and roar?
    do they tear at you with open claws?
    do your secrets dig down deep?
    do the make you want to speak?
    and also sometimes make you weep?
    why'd I do it in the first place when I knew it was along?
    I wonder how secrets can be kept for so long?
    I wish I could just turn back time,
    so that everything will all be fine.
    I have never felt this love I feel,
    I know that this time it's finally real.
    I have been the lucky one,
    he'll never know the rotten things I've done,
    but what will happen if my secrets finally escape?
    will I break down, or die in a lake?
    even though now there in the past,
    I wonder how long my secrets will last?

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  9. 7. If I Could Go Back

    • By Shianne
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems January 2017

    This poem is about someone having lost what they used to be, tried to change for someone else, and now wishing they could go back and change it. Redo their whole life and never stray from the track in life that they were on before they were consumed with hatred and self loathing.

    For every time that I broke down
    There was a fake smile to cover the frown
    I hid behind lies when things got tough
    Forced myself to think it was enough
    My tears were masked by the rain
    Unseen by all, alone with my pain
    Each night was a cover to hide my cries
    To keep from showing all these lies
    If I could go back, I'd change it all
    Stop myself from starting to fall
    Consumed by hatred, I lost all sight
    I knew what was wrong but it felt so right
    I couldn't live without the pain
    Or the anger pulsing through my vein
    Each truth a lie I learned to hold
    While watching each one start to unfold
    If I could go back, all that would change
    These diamond lies wouldn't seem so strange
    I'd undo my lies and make them true
    Hold on tightly to all that I do
    Forget the bad, and think of only each day
    And what's to come, without dismay
    I'd forget that I cried those tears
    Remember only every one of my fears
    I'd try to be everything that I lost
    Before I fell, remember the cost
    Hope for the best, and try to be
    All that died when I lost me
    I'd turn back time to redo all this
    And relive the life I almost missed
    Only if I could turn it back
    I'd find everything that I started to lack
    No longer would fake smiles appear
    They'd be true with nothing to fear
    It'd be as though it was a dream
    That came one night to make it seem
    As though this was really true
    But now there's only one thing I must do
    Go back in time and erase this pain
    Wash it away on rivers of rain
    All this could happen if I went back
    And once again in my life, I'd be on the right track.

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  10. 8. Regrets In Growing Old

    This poem is about growing old, dealing with regrets and how I would have lived my life if I had a second chance

    The hardest part of getting old,
    Is dealing with regrets,
    Accepting there's no going back.
    One chance is all I get.

    Facing dreams that I once had
    That never did come true,
    And knowing they can't be achieved
    And there's nothing now to do.

    Recalling choices that I made
    That clearly changed my life.
    Times when I retreated
    When I should have stood to fight.

    People that I pushed away
    Who only meant me well.
    While holding on to other ones
    Who made my life a hell.

    Devoting all my energy
    To the work I did each day
    While investing little in myself
    As my own life slipped away.

    Not working hard on friendships,
    Or on a family of my own.
    So that now in this last stage of life,
    I find myself alone.

    If I had to do it all again,
    It wouldn't be the same.
    I'd live my life more for myself.
    My priorities would change.

    I would reach back more to others
    Who had tried to pull me close.
    And cherish all those people,
    Who had cared for me the most.

    I would not accept hurt or abuse
    But demand love and respect.
    I'd nurture those parts of myself
    That I tended to neglect.

    I would hope to have at least one child,
    Who I'd teach and guide through life.
    Who would hopefully look up to me,
    And treasure my advice.

    I would still find time to do my work,
    One thing of which I'm proud.
    It was my years in social work
    That were my most profound.

    But as for all the time I lost,
    And the things that I can't change.
    I have to let it go for good
    And focus on the time that now remains.

    For there are no second chances.
    This is the life I made.
    But I pray that by my being here,
    I've made a difference in some way.

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    I'm alone too, and it's mostly my own fault. I hate it, but it's trust. Grasping for youth at 54 is not how it should be.

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  11. 9. My Now Angel

    • By Gemma Allen
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems April 2015

    This poem is about my best friend, who committed suicide on the 4th of April. She was thirteen, turning fourteen, and I'd known her since I was three. I guess I'm putting this up because I can relate to a lot of people on this site, and it's nice to know you're not alone in these things.

    Regret About Friend's Suicide

    These words don't come easy,
    but they are things that I must say.
    See, I don't think I ever told you
    that I wished you would stay...

    I know it's not much use now,
    and that's what hurts the most,
    because without you down here,
    my now angel, all of us are lost.

    I'm sure I didn't say it enough,
    the words "I love you," I mean,
    and that's my biggest regret in life,
    since now you're nowhere to be seen.

    I really hope you hear my prayer,
    as I beg for your forgiveness.
    See, I never meant to cause you pain
    and all that grief and sadness.

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  12. 10. Death, My Loyal Friend

    • By Emilee C. Wells
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems February 2016

    When we are continuously waiting for the next thing in life to happen, we miss the most vital and beautiful parts of life.

    Missing Out On Life While Waiting

    When I was born, I was dying for warmth,
    And as I grew, I was dying again.
    Dying for affection, for love.
    I was dying simply for a friend.

    Though I got all of these,
    I was always dying for more.
    Dying to get older,
    Dying to escape life's pause.

    I was dying to find someone,
    Dying to settle down,
    Dying to be happier,
    To have someone to wrap around.

    I continued dying every day
    Until I hit 99 and grew weak.
    I was dying to see my family,
    Dying not to fade; this I began to seek.

    And then I saw it in that light.
    I was finally dying for something to give,
    And I knew that I had been dying for so long
    That I forgot how to live.

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    I like how this poem perfectly depicts how life is and how everyone is constantly wanting more and never truly happy with what they have. Social media has taken over the life of many and no...

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  13. 11. I Still Love You, You're My Big Brother

    • By Jade
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems December 2007

    Just over a year ago, my elder brother, Ricky, 24, and I were in a car crash. He was speeding and taking his hands off the wheel. A car pulled out of a side road. Ricky didn't stop in time and we collided. The driver of the other car was killed and Ricky was charged with dangerous driving.

    Reckless Driving Poem

    You were always a risk taker,
    Especially in the car; you liked to burn rubber.
    My mates thought it was funny; it was cool
    When you gave them a lift and played the fool.
    Driving with no hands, hanging out the sun roof,
    Shutting your eyes and generally being a goof,
    Thinking you were some Evel Knievel.
    Did you know you'd cause this upheaval?

    You raced 'round the area, flying over speed hills.
    Didn't you realize that sort of drivin' kills?
    Gemma and Chloe, they screamed with excitement.
    You forgot we were the kids; you were the adult.
    We banged our heads on the car roof,
    And laughed ourselves silly, the truth?
    Every time we got in the car with you,
    We risked our lives; sounds bad, but it's true.

    One day, August 7th, you were drivin' me home from Judo.
    Did your usual stunts then crashed into a Peugeot,
    Killing a 17-year-old woman, Abigail Davis.
    We escaped with nothing but bruises.
    How is that fair?
    Police came 'round, nicked you for a drivin' offence.
    The prosecution stacked, no defense,
    A 32 month jail sentence.

    I'll try to visit you inside.
    I am angry and sad that I can't hide.
    It's all your fault; you can't excuse it.
    You were the one that revved it.
    I know you're punishing yourself, having trouble sleeping.
    I told you and told you to stop your reckless driving.
    This was the only way you'd learn, you'd never hear sense,
    But it's too late for "if only;" this story's past tense.

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    My father invited me and someone else to take a ride with him. My mother told us no because my father was drinking beer. My mother asked if we wanted to die, and we said no.

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  14. 12. Regret

    • By Liz Vu
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems March 2017

    My story is about the death of my mother. It happened when I was 10. She got cancer and passed away after 12 years of fighting against it.

    Dealing With Regrets After Mom Died

    I know
    This day will soon happen.
    I know
    God will take you away.
    Twelve years
    Of living
    Are too lucky
    For any cancer victim.
    But for you,
    It's never been too lucky.

    Early rainy morning
    Drip,
    Drip,
    Drip.
    Tiny water droplets
    Fighting against my windows.
    Clouds were cotton candy
    Covering the blue sky
    You laid there...
    As still as a tree.
    Your skin was as pale
    As snow,
    And your body was as cold
    As ice.
    Winds were howling,
    Through the front door.
    And
    Swept
    All
    My
    Tears
    Away.

    I smiled to my heart
    And reminded it
    To be strong.
    But I was wrong.
    My mind was flooded
    With all my faults.

    I regret when I shouted at you.
    I regret when I was mad at you for pathetic reasons.
    I regret when I refused to listen to your advice.
    Why didn't I treat you better?
    And I realized,
    How dumb I was to upset you,
    When all you ever wanted to do
    Was help me achieve the best things.

    But
    It's
    Too
    Late for me to
    Fix
    My
    Faults.

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  15. 13. Brain Dead

    • By Isobel Landrum
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems February 2018

    This poem is straight from my heart.

    Pain From The Past

    The memories keep flooding back,
    But not one by one.
    It's never that easy.
    Each of them, chained up,
    A mosaic of brokenness,
    Squeezing through my mind.
    Their sharp, crooked edges
    Scraping against the walls of my brain.
    Each one, different in shape,
    But familiar in pain.
    They scratch against my innocence,
    Scarred.
    Something that can never be taken back.
    Never to heal.
    And when a shred of light or happiness
    Begins to dance through my brain,
    It cannot help but notice the scars around each corner,
    Waiting,
    Grinning,
    A constant reminder,
    An annoying linger and itch.
    Never to go away.

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  16. 14. A Lonely Soul

    • By Katyana M. Destin
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems July 2008

    A poem asking for forgiveness

    I am just a lonely soul
    Can anyone hear me?
    Is anyone out there?
    I have nowhere else to go

    Escaping from all the misery
    And from all the trouble that had been caused
    I feel as if my life just took a sudden pause

    Regretting for my regrets
    Feeling that I may just don't belong
    Feeling that the path I made was wrong

    I ask God to forgive me for all my sins
    And all the ways that I have been
    Just look it from the way I see
    So I am talking for anyone out there
    Can anyone hear me?

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    I know how you feel I feel the same all the time, because I feel like no one can hear or even cares to hear my voice, but I pull though so can you. You can do it.

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  17. 15. I'll Never Forget

    • By Alicia Pedersen
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems May 2020

    I am a mother of 8 little ones, and I've made a few poor choices in life but was always a good mother to my children. Unfortunately, CPS was called on me and my children were removed from my care due to having a positive drug screen.

    CPS Taking My Children Away

    I can't tell you how much my heart hurts every day.
    It's full of anger, pain, and regrets that I can't make go away.

    I'll never forget the day they took you away.
    The look on your face, too much to embrace.

    I keep going back to that horrible day.
    If only there was something I could do to make it all go away.

    I hope you know not a day goes by that I don't think of you.
    I pray that you're okay with each passing day.

    I'd give anything to tell you one more time that
    I love you more than all the stars in the sky.

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  18. 16. New Year's Eve

    • By Cat
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems December 2015

    This poem tells a story of a reckless teen who went to a New Year's Eve party and ended up driving home drunk, despite the efforts of his friends to stop him from doing so. In the end of it all, he feels extremely guilty and cannot fathom what he has done. The poem teaches people about the dangers of drunk driving and also shows how quickly life can end.

    Poem About Drunk Driving

    My weeping mother sent me a letter.
    She begged God for me to get better.
    Her tears smudged the ink
    As her fears turned into reality in a blink.
    People warned me not to go,
    But I thought we'd be fine as long as we went slow.

    Every morning I wake up regretting
    The pain I caused on those who try forgetting.
    I'd never imagine I'd be in this cell.
    I wish I had gone straight to hell.

    She didn't deserve to die.
    Now her mother and father always cry.
    In the dark they try and find their way,
    But their light has been taken away.

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  19. 17. A Prayer Unanswered

    Oh the mistakes we make!!!

    Waking I find
    Another chill encrusted day
    Awaits me
    Where I shall walk alone in step of time
    To the blighted rhythm
    Of what must be
    And the looming shadows
    Of what might have been

    My only solace
    Comes of looking back
    Upon the horizon of
    Memories past
    Where the fluxing tapestry
    Of life and chance
    Carried you soft and safe
    Into my arms

    And I held you
    And you held me
    And for a time
    No wind of change
    Could bear us sway

    But somehow...
    Some dreadful way how
    My eyes left the beauty of yours
    My arms reached out
    For ambitions of pointless return
    And in deafened silence
    You slipped from me
    For I held you not

    And now I am left to search
    Across the rolling linen waves
    Of life and consequence
    Holding hope that
    Fate will grant me pardon
    And bring you to me
    Once again

    But I age in waiting
    I tire of hoping
    I stammer in broken steps
    For each night your vigil kept
    Brings me aside my bed
    To utter yet again
    A prayer unanswered

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  20. 18. I Love You Both

    • By Sarahjane
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems October 2009

    This is a poem to both of my children who I love so much and lost because the drugs took over me

    A Second Chance To Be Your Mum

    everyday it's hard to let you go,
    soon they will be taking my heart out and stamping on it.
    I failed at being you mum cause the drugs made me resent you
    now I'm clean my heart aches for you.
    I feel like I'm gonna hit rock bottom again
    scared I'm not gonna hold you tight like you're my babies
    I should of done a lot more for you both.
    I'm gonna lose my life,
    what for cause the drugs wanted to take control of me.
    I don't want to say bye,
    I want to be a mother to you both cause you're mine.
    Your were made out of love and I love you more and more everyday.
    I don't want you to forget who I am please,
    I love you just want a second chance to be your mum again that's all.

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    Latest Shared Story

    Wow. this made me cry. I too have lost my boys temperately, minus the drugs I know exactly how you feel. Its the worst feeling in the world! I hope all is well with you. I'm sending love and...

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  21. 19. Alone In My Head

    • By M
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems May 2011

    When I wrote this my husband and I had been going through a hard time. I had received emails from another woman claiming to be with my husband. As I was distancing myself from my husband to prepare for the worst I started having feelings for my best friend. He called me his muse, his soul mate. As the fighting got worse between my husband and I the bond between my best friend and I grew stronger and then it happened. As soon as it was over he told me it meant nothing. My heart broke again

    Poem About Feeling Regret and Guilt

    Alone in my head,
    I'm feeling so low,
    You wont understand,
    No one can know.

    My eyes are so tired,
    I can't sleep at night,
    Your face haunts my dreams,
    When I turn out the light.

    It happened so suddenly,
    It happened so fast,
    I knew all at once,
    That none of this would last.

    Was I just a game?
    Was this all just for fun?
    Did my feelings matter,
    To anyone?

    "This didn't mean anything",
    That's what you said,
    As I was so shamefully,
    Getting up from your bed.

    I held my head high,
    As I walked by your side,
    Tears welling up,
    I was dying inside.

    Weeks have passed,
    Keeping secrets, telling lies,
    I don't have the strength,
    To look either of them in the eyes.

    My heart has been broken,
    Not once, but twice,
    Once by my best friend,
    Once by the love of my life.

    Deep down inside,
    I know it's my fault,
    So I'm just going to lock it,
    Away in my vault.

    Sometimes I still think of you,
    When I'm lying in bed,
    Still all alone,
    Inside of my head.

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    Beautiful poem! I loved the way it's presented with hints of unspoken events.

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  22. 20. Our Past We Shared

    • By Carolynne M. Stubanas
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems February 2006

    A girl takes the hard line with her father, holding him responsible for abuse and neglect.


    Many nights I drowned myself in tears, because you caused my family so much pain over the years.
    My sister you mentally and physically abused, and my brother you unfairly used.
    He was forced to be a father, because you didn't want to bother.
    My Mother you lived off her, things would have been better without you in the picture.
    You were there and still are, and you are still causing us all emotional harm.
    It is time for us all to grow and change, because what good will it do to remain the same?
    I'm willing to forgive you and leave the past behind, because a better life is what I'm trying to find.
    Will you change with me, or stay stuck in the past like a deeply rooted tree?

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