The Difference Now by Cherie Burbach

One of my most popular poems ever is “The Difference Now.” It was also a favorite of mine. I included it in my first book, I named the book after it, and I’ve used it as a way to look at my life differently. I was able to rise above darkness and seek out the light, and “The Difference Now” embodies that.

41P22MhNHaL._SL110_But I think this poem could also be a good one for writers. We change as we write. We deal with rejection and negativity and that changes us. We deal with joy and unexpected goodness and that changes us. We deal with life, and that changes us.

If you enjoy this poem, check out my book New and Selected Poems.

The Difference Now

The difference now
is when pushed
I push back.

The difference now
is when I’m hurt
I’ll cry
Why should I hide it?
Or pretend that I don’t care?
You know you hurt me.
My pretending only helped you,
not me.

The difference now
is that I’ll fight for the life
I want to live
and not the one
you think I should live.

The difference now
is that I make the definitions
and throw yours away.

The difference now
is when I walk in a room
and you guiltily look at each other
and stop talking
I’ll wonder who you’ll blame
for the problems in your life
after I move on.

The difference now
is that when you’re laughing
behind my back
I realize I must be ahead of you
and I’ll keep going.

Signed and matted prints of “The Difference Now” are available in my Etsy store.


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