Permission Slip


PAD Challenge #21  For Poetic Asides

The prompt for today is to write a permission poem. You don’t need my (or anyone else’s) permission to write your poem today, but it should somehow involve the concept of giving, refusing, asking, etc. permission.

Permission Slip

Who am I to give you permission
to do anything? Who are you
to do the same for me?

Are we no more than children,
in need of signed slip in order
to take some far-fetched field trip?

Long, long ago, you asked me
to say yes, you had the right
to choose to take your own life.

And fool that I am, I nodded.
You could destroy a life you
hadn’t begun to live yet. Made

you promise to let me know
when you felt that low, so I
could come, talk you out of it.

We even laughed that I had been
quick enough to trick you into
agreement. You said I saved

your life that day. They say
that when you save a life, even
if it’s filled with strife, you are

tied to it forever. Must always
own that deed, fulfill that need
till all of life is over. You still

breathe, and I believe our very
souls are tied together. A tangled
knot which refuses to unravel, we

travel down this far-fetched road,
that signed in need permission slip,
still always gripped between us.

Elizabeth Crawford  11/21/10

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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7 Responses to Permission Slip

  1. Yes, very interesting. Do we need a permission slip to live or die? I think not, we will do what we can, live or die, let’s retain that right. But there a strings that are tied, all around life and death, even when we remail tangle free.

    Hi Annell. This was far from an easy write, so many tangled emotions, thoughts, and ideas attached to it. And no, I don’t believe we do need permission to live or die, however we may still find ourselves asking for just that because of all of those strings you have mentioned. Which is why the poem was difficult and I’m still not sure it’s okay. All the questions, emotions, and strings are still attached. And I’ll just keep trying. That’s all I can do. Thanks for sharing your thoughts,



  2. I made some typos. I meant, There are strings, around life and death, even when we try to remain tangle free.


    No need to apologize, but then I have another question. Can we afford to remain tangle free and if we do what kind of life is that?



  3. vivinfrance says:

    Your last question to Annell is the nub of the matter. Any normal life inevitably gathers tangles that could be damaged by the premature ending of a life. Descendants, friends, siblings – however much we might believe that the right to live or die is our own, it cannot help but leave a wounding muddle for those close to us to untangle. But – and it’s a big but – there should be no question of “permission” one way or the other. Your thoughtful poem has persuaded me to clarify my own ideas!

    Viv, this is such a hard topic and subject. The poem itself was hard to write because of that. And I agree, there are always tanglements in life, some more knotted than others. In the moment of her question, which followed several days and hours of discussion, I realized that she only wanted me to agree with her about her own conclusion. And I only wanted another chance to keep her talking.

    So, I added a proviso to the nodding of my head. She is still alive and that was over twenty years ago. She still goes through deep bouts of darkness and depression. She still reaches out, and I still reach back. It is what we do. There is no talk of permission, but when I read the prompt this morning it was the one thing that came to my mind and it would not be denied. We both have needs inside this situation. We both meet them as best we can. And yes that can make for wounds, but that is life.

    Those long ago conversations with her, although difficult and scary, clarified my thoughts and concepts on the matter. I am grateful for that as well and have not changed my mind in all of that time. Thank you for your comments, and for sharing your thoughts. Again, it is not an easy topic.



  4. The key word was “try.” No, I think, try as we might, there are tangles, we will never escape, or be free. No premission slip needed, perhaps freedom is just an idea? I’m thinking we can live and we can dream….then we will die. The poem is wonderful, I love your words. One day you will say it all, the peom will be complete. Today I have also been writing about some tough feelings, what else to do with them? Try to understand why we think the way we do, why we feel the way we do….is there another way?

    Lol, Annell, you are asking the wrong person. It is the only thing I know how to do. Write it out, make it as clear as possible, and then live with it, and inside of it. The prompts have allowed me to move through the layers, and to clarify each one. A difficult task, but an absolutely necessary one. And a blessing all the same.

    This is not a pretty poem. Don’t even know that it is a good one (or if there is such a thing). Just know it allowed me to say what needed to be said. You and the others who have come here and commented are all a part of that. What good is speaking, if no one hears it? Even more so, what good if I speak and can’t hear what I am saying. Somehow, your presence makes that possible. Thank you,



  5. Lovely you!

    And right backatcha, lol.


  6. Mary says:

    Hi Elizabeth…following your journey and appreciating your comments in my blog. Thank you. And yes, having a ‘cool one’ is not out of the realm of possibility. These challenges of Robert’s definitely do not produce light writing/ reading. Heading to not far from your location for Thanksgiving.

    I agree that when you save a life you are tied to it forever. And I might add, I am sure one feels somewhat responsible. So much depth in theese words written today.

    Mary, it’s been a bit difficult to keep up with all of it. And it would be great to see you face to face and share a few, or maybe just one large one, lol.

    And yes, there is that sense of responsibility. Maybe why neither of us can ever truly let go of the other. Tired of trying to figure out if that is a bad thing or a good one. It is, and that maybe all I will ever need to know. Thanks for stopping and joining in the conversation. And you are right about the depth of the responses to these prompts.



  7. pamela says:

    The connection is clear. It is just like an echo.
    This prompt was one of the most difficult for me.

    Pamela, I think I sensed this one coming somehow. When I saw the prompt, I knew what I was supposed to write about. I didn’t want to, but since when does that have much to do with anything? And yes, I heard the echo in your piece and wondered if you had the same experience while writing it. Not an easy one at all. Thanks for your words,



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