Posts Tagged ‘perfectionism’

The heart doesn’t have perfectionism.
            —Joi Sharp

All night I dreamt
I was teaching a class
I’d never prepared for.
I’d never even seen
the textbook,
didn’t have a roster
for the students,
and couldn’t understand
how I’d arrived in this place
where I seemed destined
to let everyone down.
Even the chalk wouldn’t work
on the chalkboard.
All night I fought
an inner monster,
the one that says,
You are not enough.
All night it chased me
through the channels
of my fears, those
synaptic paths
well-traveled for years.
Oh world, let me be
the student.
Let me be one
who learns to live
through the heart,
who loves with confidence.
Let me study the ways
love meets the monster—
not with a fight
but with indifference.

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One Rusty




stumbling through

the Moonlight Sonata

while outside the window

a twilight birdsong—

not one note out of place

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On Point




Sewing the ribbons

onto point shoes for the first time

I again feel clumsy


in this art of parenting.

Angle the ribbons,

or stitch them on straight?


How far from the back seam

does the elastic go?

How snug the fit?


How secure the stitch?

It was not so long ago

I didn’t know how warm


the bath. How tight

the swaddle. How

to soothe when the babe


was unable to say

what was wrong.

So little has changed,


me in the late hours

puzzling over lack

of instructions,


wanting so badly

to do it right, wishing

for some elusive grace,


astonished by how enormous

the love, the ribbon

running through my fingers.

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In My Own Way

Disorder, let me fall in love with you—
with whatever is torn and scattered,
disheveled and spilt. I am exhausted
with straightening, sorting and tidiness.
Let me come to adore what is muddled
and cluttered, jumbled and heaped.
Let me be easy with mud and smear and muck,
let me lose this need to make things neat.
You could sing to me, disorder. You could
play me sloppy jazz-ish tunes.
You could kiss me every time I leave
a book or dish out of place. And slowly,
with encouragement, with your nurturing,
I’d perhaps start to lose control on purpose.
Oh Disorder, see how I am? Always
wanting to hold the reins. Help me to laugh
at my stickler ways. Unshould me.
Ungood me. Unglue me. Unpraise.

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In my family
my job was to
be perfect.
To get straight As,
the lead in plays,
to sing in tune,
to clean my room,
to not be loud,
to please a crowd,
to not say no.
I loved them so,
and this is why
I learned to lie.

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