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I Wish I Paid Attention

I Wish I Paid Attention

A Poem by Ziggy Matthews

This is a rough first draft, as are all my other poems. There are some edits I want to make eventually, but this is what I wanted to share at this moment. I hope you enjoy! 12/300


I wish I had paid attention when

You first came into my life.

I was sitting on my bedroom floor

Slamming my head against a metal bedframe,

Hoping the blunt force would cause

Some kind of aneurysm.

Tears painted my face like make up

And the agony that poured from my inner being

Yelled out for the first time in ages.


I wish I paid more attention when

My friend told me that you loved me

Unconditionally. No strings attached.

I was this emotional wreck

Yet, you loved me.

That’s when I first opened the door

Realizing you’d been knocking

For quite some time.


I wish I paid attention when

I felt you embrace me.

Obviously, you weren’t a physical being

But I could feel your spirit grasping me.

I wish I paused longer in that moment.

You, The Great Comforter,

The one who knows every hurt and pain we have.


I wish I paid attention when

You asked me to surrender it all to you.

You said that you’d carry my burdens

And you’d never give me too much to handle.

But once again

I have this pit

In my stomach

Of doubt.

Will you come through again?


I wish I paid attention when

You said you knew me completely.

So personally. So intimately.

You knew about every scar

I allowed to draw on my heart

And what they represented.

Every lie I ever told myself

And the secrets I’d been hiding.

You saw the real me.

And you, an eternal being,

Were astonished.

Filled with joy by His creation.


If your word is true

Then in that moment,

Thousands of angels


As this prodigal son

Finally came home.

He came to his senses.

And realizing he needed more

He embraced your message:

The Gospel. His salvation.


But I wish I paid attention when

You went over the basics.

When our relationship first started,

My heart was like a wild fire

Bursting into flames

With the smallest of kindle.

I wanted everyone to know

The awesomeness of you.

But as time flew and flew,

Life’s river slowly eroded a canyon

Between me and you.

Suddenly, I felt so distant.

This God I once joyfully spoke with

Every morning

Became someone that I resented.

What happened?


I wish I paid attention when

You told me that humans were not you.

They were flawed,

Even though they were in your image.

So when they insisted

I follow the path

I knew you did not mean for me,

I fled from you

Seeking the affirmation

And acceptance I so greatly desired.


I wish I paid more attention when

You told me that you accepted me.

A wise man once said

The more we become like Jesus,

The more truer to our real selves we’ll be.

But here I was off pretending

To be someone I wasn’t.

An imposter in my own clothing

Looking in the mirror

And realizing

A stranger was staring back.

Good intentions

Doesn’t always mean

Right motives.


I wish I paid more attention,

But I didn’t.

So here I am now, God

Trying to recover

This relationship that was lost.

Unrecognizable compared to before.

Where do we start?

Do we talk about the pain and resentments

That I hid underneath my own fig leaves

For so long

Because I never wanted to believe

The words you told me.


I never believed I was accepted.

I never believed I was forgiven.

So every time I felt ashamed

I ran back to my addictions

To cope

With the self I was escaping.

The person I didn’t want to be

Because I was scared shitless

That when I became the real Ziggy…

You’d reject me.

Just like the others.

Funny how we take our traumas

And mold you out of ‘em.


You washed away my sins,

But I don’t feel white as snow.

I feel like a leper

Begging for your cleansing.

But for me,

It feels like it never is coming.


Why did you take me on this journey?

I see you working,

And I know you never stopped.

But God, I don’t know how

To make sense of all this stuff.

So I’m going back to my notes,

Back to the beginning.

Where that young dark soul

Found a new serenity.

Instead of being enslaved

To the opinions of others

And the burdens they place on me.


I know there’s not a second genesis.

But can you please gift me

My exodus from this misery?

Photo by Christ Liu on Unsplash

© 2021 Ziggy Matthews

Author's Note

Ziggy Matthews
I hope you enjoyed this open, honest dialogue from me to God. Thanks for your responses and reading!!! I always appreciate them.

My Review

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I believe those of us who have found God, stumble and become distracted and distant without meaning to. Our journeys of faith are never straight lined and I know I have felt like this many times over the years.

This is straight forward and open about the struggle with faith and humanity. I believe many will connect with this poem and understand completely the struggle and the silence we sometimes feel because we have drifted away from God or have stopped listening.

Posted 3 Months Ago

I think any healing program that does not include a spiritual component of some kind is ultimately lacking. AA has been proving this truth for generations. May your healing continue.

Posted 4 Months Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

We see, when we reach our worst point in our life and we learn. We don't walk alone. I liked the set-up and the strong statements in the poetry. Thank you Ziggy for sharing the amazing poetry.

Posted 4 Months Ago

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3 Reviews
Added on March 16, 2021
Last Updated on March 16, 2021
Tags: poetry, depression, spiritual harm, evangelical, Christianity, God, religion, poem, ziggy, matthews, rejection, pain, suffering


Ziggy Matthews
Ziggy Matthews


A disturbed "at-risk" child that grew up to become a semi-functional adult and teacher who helps other "at risk" children become semi-functional adults. Writing is my therapy and passion. Realistic fi.. more..

Zigs Zigs

A Poem by Ziggy Matthews