Friday, June 3, 2016

Poetry Friday: "One Intentional Mistake"

In mid-April, I was feeling a bit frazzled with all I had to do:  put the finishing touches on retreat planning, packing, getting the guest room ready, and of course, all the tasks of the work I do for pay.

I thought of the ways I would like to make the guest room (and the house) perfect.  I soothed myself by saying  "It won't be perfect, but that's O.K. because I am realistic enough to know I don't have time (or space or money or . . .) to make it perfect."

In that vein, I wrote this poem:

One Intentional Mistake

"how for years I was taught:
fly low under the radar."
                    Luisa Igloria, “Only
Amish quilters made intentional mistakes
because only God can craft
items of perfection.

I make mistakes without precision,
scattering them across my work
with great abandon, as if to ward
off evil spirits.

Those spirits will move
on to haunt those who are too proud
of their precise stitches, their perfect
children, their houses ready to grace
the cover of glossy magazines.

I fly under the radar
of every evil spirit with my chaotic
collection of art supplies spread
out across every surface, children frolicking
in paint or mud.

But my children get their nightly baths
before being tucked into beds with bright
quilts with crooked seams. I will tell
them one last story
about the woman who abandoned
the neatness of numbered columns
for the spatter of paint and the magic
of fairy cakes in the overgrown garden.

You may notice it was inspired by Luisa Igloria, and her poem appeared on the Via Negativa site, a site I love because a variety of poets show up here each day, and most of the poems link in a way to some other poem on the site. 

It's a modern call and response.

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