Guilt Like Cake

Do you remember the day your guilt ate you alive

Like a child feasting on birthday cake leftovers

He licked you from his fingertips, one by one

And savored in the struggle to win that last bite

You were consumed, it is done

There’s no coming back now

The worst is the “what if” smoking in the air

What if this had never happened

What if you did this differently

What if you had only known…

It did, you didn’t, and you couldn’t have.

Now guilt has bred in you like yeast

And risen to this fine culinary occasion

To engulf you, swallow you whole.

And chase you with milk.


Guilt is a tight rope. To feel it is to walk it. In the right combination guilt reinforces our moral compass, guiding us toward what is right and consistent with our beliefs. Without it, we act impulsively, selfishly and harmfully toward ourselves and others. Too much of it can keep us in terrible pain, stuck in the past, unable to move forward. How do we know when to let guilt go when it is guilt itself that keeps us in check?

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