not intentionally dark
My mother was telling how she’s not had as many health problems late in life,
Because she never played sports when she was younger.
Never got hurt.
She has no bad, bum knee to contend with.
I guess because I never fell in love early,
I don’t have any wounds to take with me.
No scars and bumps,
From that at least.
If you tell me I need to have something done by a specific time,
with these requirements and these bullet points,
Then say, “go.”
Then you stare at me.
I might be able to finish a math problem.
If you tell me these things have to be done, and done well,
You can’t give me those restraints.
Here’s what you should say,
Get the basics done,
If you give me anything else,
Then, then, I work on my own, with my own thoughts,
Give me time to think about it.
That’s when it’s good.
It’s why I have to tell myself, when I try to start writing,
That I can go back and change the first line, that I can go back and make it perfect, because
Otherwise I’ll sit there and look at the screen or the paper
She was teased by her children,
For not being smart,
For not getting the joke,
For being out of it.
But, I noticed, when I got older,
I no longer pitied her,
Instead, I noticed all the ways she brought it upon herself,
Reveled in it,
Made it part of why you should like her.
I cannot tell you how much it bothers me
That the group with the highest percentage of college drop outs
White, female, from a rural area.
That was the first time I heard a statistic,
I wanted to change.
I felt the need to change.
The worst feeling in the world,
has to be when you’re writing a checklist
and you re-read the checklist,
to see you’ve written something twice
I keep getting older and seeing things I could’ve done
Ways I could have been smarter.
And now I see people my age
Who did it the other way
And are, by all accounts, turning out better.
Of course I compare.
How could I not?
And I keep thinking,
I’m going to be outdone forever.
I should do my own thing and be proud.
It’s hard to be proud when you want to be someone else.