The Best of the Best (Ten today)


July 30, 2016
 

We are in Carlsbad, parked in a cool-shady spot near the beach, car lounging before the next game. The slogan of this soccer tournament boasts that only the best of the best walk through the gates to compete on their well-groomed fields. My daughter and her teammates deserve to be here…on some days. When they want to–her included—they are unstoppable. When they don’t, they’re not. 17 year olds are like that, I guess. They can taste freedom to make their own mistakes just at the other end of the table.
 
This daughter, like her older sister, I know so well and don’t know at all. Her cynical, critical eye is inherited. Her sensed, inarticulable experience of the world is inherited. Her logic, forethought, anxiety and perfectionism are inherited too. She’s more outer driven, while I’m more inner. I want to live up to my own standards. She needs a watcher, a fan and a stern stick behind her.
 
But I respect her. She knows what she wants, I trust, and will have to figure out from where her limitations come should she decide to exceed and conquer them. I give her words and a model. And while my older daughter allowed me to help her, push her to push herself, this one never has–not in the same way. They’re a study in people hood. How humans fulfill their cellular and cultural destinies–endlessly fascinating, the best of the best.

Positively Pressure

 
 

No more apologies:

I disappoint.

Not enough, not long, hard, gentle or 

joined in heart when I hold you,

I hear your silent reproaches.

A lip corner flick.

No sorries in my storage.

Unrepentant lashes, 

un-sick over baggage.

Time I give is all the buzz

I have, all my life,

before run before hide 

–before–

and composed thus

I always was.

Heaving breath,

the sigh of it all,

sense-fire hearth, 

shorting electric

with your, his, her, their

expiry utter other grunts, twists, glances or

dances belly deep,

and all I beg is a bite of sleep.

My gutters sag under the weight

of leaves and leavings and arrivals,

the spinning door rotates you for you

and him for her for him for them,

and back again, 

a reversion ahead of me, the fool

to believe in words

deployed poison control tools–

bright, early, sunny-gregarious 

gets the worm–

the norm of help-me-happy right

keeping the dark ones light.