Elizabeth Lymer sorry repeated

When Elizabeth Lymer was young she often wrote sorry notes, either in place of, or as openings for, giving verbal apologies. Recently she found herself compelled to use this method of apology again, in an email to someone she was working with on a project but had never met

Elizabeth Lymer lettersI wrote my apology poem at night, unable to contemplate sleep until I had tried to follow my mistakes with an attempt at doing something good. I had inadvertently offended my sister in Islam. My intentions had been good – Allah knows best – but I had not taken good care over my actions: I had rushed and therefore had neither spent long enough in my sister’s shoes to understand her position nor very long on forming my own words into a thoughtful enquiry about what I didn’t understand.

Elizabeth Lymer sorryAlhamdulillah after receiving my poem the sister forgave me and Allah granted me a learning experience through my mistakes, in addition to the enormous blessing of being guided to tearful, heartfelt repentance to Him in salah.

Here is the untitled poem I sent:

Just a matter of hours ago

You and I were connected

By words of harmony

That bridge religions.

Just a matter of hours ago

You and I stood together

In the face of religion-inspired bullying

In our childhoods –

Yours far worse than mine.

Just a matter of hours ago

We shared a page.

But then a matter of words

Came between us.

New words piled on top of

Our old ones.

Breaking, crushing, splitting

Our words of harmony and connection

And our hearts.

I threw the first new

And unwanted word.

Let me try to

Mend our brokenness.

Let me tell you again

That I’m sorry I hurt you,

Hurried over you,

Pressed your words

With new ones

To breaking point.

I’m sorry I didn’t even

Take the time to keep

Sensitive to your vulnerability

Around your words,

Your poem, your past,

That I hurried over you,

And pressed your words

To breaking point.

I’m sorry.

A matter of broken words and hearts may

Not be fixable with words,

But my heart longs to try,

And age-old words of sorry are all I have

To give you to ask to take my new words away.


Kind speech and forgiveness are better than charity followed by injury. And Allah is Free of need and Forbearing.

The Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah (Chapter of the cow) 2:263

Elizabeth Lymer is author of Islamic Nursery Rhymes and regularly shares rhyming poetry for young families on her blog, including rhymes for saying sorry. She is Editor of Young Muslimah Magazine and is looking forward to receiving submissions for the ‘I Love Manners’ series inshaAllah http://www.youngmuslimahmagazine.com/submissions

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2 thoughts on “”

  1. Love this! mashaAllah. As I kid I used to write letters too. They would not only be apology letters but also venting out worries and opening up letters. It’s interesting how we choose to express our inner deep feelings through written words. Truly love this post and poem mashaAllah <3 Your apology is truly felt.

  2. Beautiful MashaAllah. Agree with Sister Sa’diyya completely. Love the simplicity, humility and sincerity in the note above. God bless :)

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