In Retrospect

Tormented by


Overlooked signs,

The expansive king-sized bed.

Conversation raked

With a fine-tooth comb,

Searching for

Truthful nuggets,

An answer to “why?”

To his, “I’m leaving,”

She begged, “Please stay.”

Silence speaks.

Silence speaks, hope fades
Hope fades…


This is my response to Trifecta’s weekend challenge:

Trifecta editor Lisa has a son who just lost his first tooth.  In honor of such a creepy event, we want you to write a 33-word response that uses the word tooth.  Your response can use any definition of the word but cannot tell the story of someone losing a tooth.

If you want to read other responses, or write and submit one yourself, please click here to view Trifecta’s site.  I hope you have a beautiful weekend!


93 thoughts on “In Retrospect

  1. Lance August 9, 2013 / 7:56 AM

    You are great with these “gut-punch” moments in relationship moments. I liked this for it’s impact.

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 1:58 PM

      Thanks for reading, Lance! This wasn’t what I set out to write, but it evolved that way.

  2. lewis cave August 9, 2013 / 8:02 AM

    Silence can be a tough teacher. Great take on the prompt!

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 1:59 PM

      Silence is the worst when you’re waiting for an answer. Thanks for reading, Lewis!

  3. Gabriella August 9, 2013 / 8:19 AM

    Powerful piece! We feel for your character.

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 1:59 PM

      Thanks, Gabriella. Not a good position to be in, for sure.

  4. shawnbrucepruett August 9, 2013 / 9:52 AM

    A moving peek into the intricacies of relationships and love.

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 2:00 PM

      The good relationships have balance, Shawn. This one is a bit “off” 🙂

  5. Mike August 9, 2013 / 10:16 AM

    Wonderful use of your 33 words.

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 2:00 PM

      Thanks, Mike. I appreciate you reading!

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 2:01 PM

      She’s hoping the little pieces of truth will give her the answer she needs. Thanks for reading, Jennifer!

  6. Kir Piccini August 9, 2013 / 10:26 AM

    OH Janna, what to like first: The fine tooth comb, the truthful nuggets.

    My stomach tumbled with every line, it was exquisite and so very sad.


    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 2:02 PM

      I’m glad my poem made your stomach turn, Kir 🙂 (I know what you meant, I just thought it’d be fun to twist your words!) Thanks so much for reading and sharing your comment.

  7. Glynis August 9, 2013 / 10:36 AM

    This was short, but packed a huge punch to the gut! Wonderful!

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 2:03 PM

      Thanks, Glynis! I’m glad it sparked emotions…sometimes it can be difficult to do with 33 words to play with.

      • Glynis August 9, 2013 / 2:16 PM

        So true, but you did the job! Great work!

        • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 9:27 PM

          Thank you so much, Glynis 😛

  8. Joe Owens August 9, 2013 / 10:51 AM

    Silence can sometimes be deafening.

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 2:03 PM

      Yes, it can, Joe 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  9. joetwo August 9, 2013 / 10:58 AM

    Very good piece!

  10. howanxious August 9, 2013 / 11:56 AM

    Nice.. an end to love is hurtful.

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 2:04 PM

      It’s never pleasant, HA. I’m glad you stopped by to read my poem.

  11. Sean August 9, 2013 / 12:48 PM

    This is a good piece. Very moving. You can feel that you enjoy writing through it. Thanks

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 2:05 PM

      Thanks, Sean! It’s not exactly an uplifting piece, but that’s what came of my thoughts as I wrote on this one today 🙂

  12. Ivy (Mommy Dourest) August 9, 2013 / 12:49 PM

    This is so powerful and relatable. You portrayed an all-too-real moment beautifully.

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 2:07 PM

      Thanks, Ivy. I’m glad it was relatable. It’s a painful position to be in, that’s for sure!

  13. Debbie August 9, 2013 / 12:52 PM

    What a sad poem, Janna. You packed a LOT of emotion into those 33 words!

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 2:08 PM

      I really did write a ‘downer’ of a poem for a happy Friday…thanks for reading, Debbie!

  14. philosophermouseofthehedge August 9, 2013 / 12:53 PM

    Love the “fine tooth comb” observation of conversation.
    And of course the ending – said so much.

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 2:09 PM

      In the aftermath, I tend to analyze conversations to death…not that it does any good! I appreciate you taking time to read it and share your comment, Phil!

  15. vishalbheeroo August 9, 2013 / 1:18 PM

    Thousand silent words may be perfect an answer:)

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 2:10 PM

      The silence says more than spoken lies any day. Thanks for reading, Vishal 🙂

  16. freyathewriter August 9, 2013 / 1:35 PM

    Ooh, we both went for the comb reference! I loved the layout of this poem, as well as the weaving words.

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 2:12 PM

      I’ll definitely read yours, Freya! I do appreciate you taking time to read my take on the prompt 🙂

  17. nrhatch August 9, 2013 / 2:27 PM

    Interesting images. Sad ending.

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 9:28 PM

      I don’t know where the darkness came from today, Nancy…I actually feel like I’m in a good mood! (Could you imagine what I’d come up with if I felt blue? :grin:)

  18. zennjennc August 9, 2013 / 3:21 PM

    Ohh, I like and the layout too.

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 9:29 PM

      Thanks, Zennjenn…I appreciate you stopping by!

  19. Widdershins August 9, 2013 / 5:30 PM

    Love the, ‘tormented by hindsight’. Who among us hasn’t trod that path somewhere along the way!

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 9:30 PM

      Well, if we were all equipped with crystal balls, then hindsight wouldn’t be a problem 🙂 Glad you could relate to that part, Widdershins.

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 9:30 PM

      Thanks so much, Theinnerzone. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it 🙂

  20. Cobbie's World August 9, 2013 / 7:38 PM

    That king-sized bed is the start of so many problems in a marriage. My wife and I still sleep in a double-bed. There is just something about sharing our body heat, hearing her breathing while she sleeps, those incidental toe touches……….that keeps us from drifting into our separate places. As long as our bums are touching, our marriage stays strong. Just the way it is! 🙂

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2013 / 9:36 PM

      Couples do have to find a way to remain close, Tom. For me, a king-sized bed was the key to me finally getting some good sleep! Between cats and dogs squeezing in the bed (never mind the occasional frightened child), it was awful. Now, there’s room for everyone, but not between us. Thanks for stopping by to read – I’m glad you shared your comment here!

  21. Eric Alagan August 9, 2013 / 11:55 PM

    Apparently, as far as he is concerned, everything that needs to be said – has been said.

    Well, he can have his own bed and own room even – but when morning comes, he can make his own breakfast!
    (No, he is not walking out on her – he just can’t tolerate her snoring!)

    • jannatwrites August 10, 2013 / 7:22 PM

      Funny interpretation, Eric! I like the idea that the leaving is just for the night…much less devastating that way.

  22. DonettaSd August 10, 2013 / 1:21 AM

    Ah, those moments seem to last forever to the one being left. Silence says so much more than words at times. This is beautiful though sad.

    • jannatwrites August 10, 2013 / 7:23 PM

      Thanks, Donetta. I appreciate you reading and sharing your comment, Donetta!

  23. GodGirl August 10, 2013 / 2:49 AM

    “Conversation raked with a fine-tooth comb” – what a great line. Often we don’t see break-ups coming, but when it’s all over we obsess and speculate and try to recall details and signs and triggers – for closure I guess. I love the way you said so much with the snippets of dialogue near the end. So clever!

    • jannatwrites August 10, 2013 / 7:25 PM

      Thanks, GodGirl. Sometimes the endless endless replay loop is torture. I appreciate you taking time to read and share your thoughts!

  24. lena de almeida August 10, 2013 / 2:49 AM

    You express eloquently the agony of raking through the clues of the past to make sense of the present.

    • jannatwrites August 10, 2013 / 7:32 PM

      Thanks, Lena. It’s hard not to analyze what went wrong.

  25. Draug419 August 10, 2013 / 6:16 AM

    The sound of silence is a terrible answer. Love this.

  26. Tina August 10, 2013 / 7:04 AM

    The sound of silence is not really silent, is it? So many things can fill that blank, and she is going to torture herself with them all. This was sad, but powerful!

    • jannatwrites August 10, 2013 / 7:34 PM

      You’re right, the mind has a way of filling up the silence, Tina. Thanks so much for reading!

  27. Bryan Ens August 10, 2013 / 8:00 AM

    Sad, but wonderfully written piece.

    • jannatwrites August 10, 2013 / 7:37 PM

      Thanks, Bryan. I appreciate you stopping by!

    • jannatwrites August 10, 2013 / 7:39 PM

      Yes, it does, Bjorn. Sometimes anything is better than the silence!

  28. dailyshorts August 10, 2013 / 10:28 AM

    Nicely done. When I read it I automatically thought of Bruno Mars song ‘When I Was Your Man’ All the things that we wished we could or should have changed before our loves left.

    A question we’ve all asked.

    • jannatwrites August 10, 2013 / 7:40 PM

      That is such a heartfelt song, Dailyshorts. It seems like we can always look back and see what we could’ve done differently.

  29. Valerie August 10, 2013 / 11:16 AM

    Raked with a fine tooth comb is brilliant! I’ve been there, and done that too:)

    Well done!

    • jannatwrites August 10, 2013 / 7:41 PM

      Thanks, Valerie. I’m glad you stopped by and liked that line 🙂

  30. unevenstevencu August 10, 2013 / 12:28 PM

    tooth comb inventive and nice description of looking for a cause – sometimes there is none or its just better off not knowing

    • jannatwrites August 10, 2013 / 7:45 PM

      So true, Uneven Steven. Even if we’re better off not knowing, we still try to figure it out.

  31. pattisj August 10, 2013 / 4:59 PM

    Silence, that’s not good, in this case, anyway.
    Do you put the words where you want and they stay there? Or do you copy/paste?

    • jannatwrites August 10, 2013 / 7:49 PM

      Thanks for stopping by to read it, Patti. I manually have to reformat when I paste into WordPress because my Word formatting doesn’t hold.

      • pattisj August 10, 2013 / 8:28 PM

        Thanks. They have a mind of their own from my experience.

        • jannatwrites August 11, 2013 / 12:31 PM

          I’m glad it’s not just me 🙂

        • pattisj August 11, 2013 / 4:54 PM

          And I’m glad it’s not just me!

  32. Renada Styles August 10, 2013 / 5:03 PM

    i like how you formatted this poem, well said for a silent end.

    • jannatwrites August 10, 2013 / 7:50 PM

      Thanks, Renada. I appreciate you reading 🙂

  33. trifectawriting August 11, 2013 / 2:28 AM

    This seems like a really full response to the prompt–bigger than the 33 words, if you know what I mean. Great job, Janna. Thanks for linking up.

    • jannatwrites August 11, 2013 / 12:32 PM

      That is a great comment/compliment….made me smile 🙂 Thanks!

  34. Suzanne August 11, 2013 / 7:50 AM

    Wow. Intense and gut-wrenching. I agree, it’s a really complete piece. Well done, as always!

    • jannatwrites August 11, 2013 / 12:32 PM

      Thanks so much, Suzanne. I appreciate you taking time to read my response!

  35. Christine August 11, 2013 / 12:50 PM

    The search for answers doubles the pain of the actual break-up. Great poem – I really loved the first stanza in particular. It flows really well.

    • jannatwrites August 11, 2013 / 8:48 PM

      I’m glad you liked it, Christine. Thanks so much for reading!

    • jannatwrites August 11, 2013 / 8:49 PM

      Thanks, Tess! I appreciate you stopping by!

  36. Michael August 11, 2013 / 8:15 PM

    Wow. That was awesome. Terribly sad, but awesome.

    • jannatwrites August 11, 2013 / 8:51 PM

      Thanks, Michael! It was a bit of a down poem…

  37. agjorgenson August 13, 2013 / 7:00 PM

    I love the “Conversation raked/ With a fine-tooth comb.” It rings so true.

    • jannatwrites August 13, 2013 / 8:19 PM

      It’s some comfort knowing that others do the same thing. I appreciate you stopping by, Allen!

  38. pattyabr August 13, 2013 / 8:10 PM

    nice job Janna but sad

    • jannatwrites August 13, 2013 / 8:20 PM

      It was a depressing one, Patty. I appreciate you reading it 🙂

  39. Sandra August 16, 2013 / 2:36 PM

    I love the second stanza–such artful choice of words! That’s a beautiful photo as well. Nicely done.

    • jannatwrites August 16, 2013 / 11:10 PM

      That was the stanza that was the closest to me. I tend to replay conversations in my mind and dissect them to figure out what went wrong. Most remain unsolved mysteries. I’m glad you liked the photo – it was one I took last year in Hawaii.

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