New Poetry: Good Enough on the Ground

Here is a brand new poem that I'm posting just moments after it was written. This one deals with a very current and emotional situation in my life right now--one with a positive outcome that I am deeply grateful for. I have always used poetry to express things that I have difficulty talking about in ordinary conversation. Please feel free to read between the lines and share in my joy at an unexpected happy ending--or more accurately, an unexpected happy beginning. If you enjoy it, please leave a comment to let me know you were here.

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Photo by Lauren Paulson via FlickrGood Enough on the Ground

I was born with my eyes on the sky,
wings aching to beat against the wind
and carry me to join
the other songbirds way up high.

My cravings were pure and authentic then.
I was connected to the life that flows through everything,
and I knew my place; understood my worth.

The song came first
and is more intrinsic to me
than anything else
I may cling to today.

Long before the world tried to break these wings,
I was already looking for reasons and excuses not to fly.
I was afraid of failure; afraid of success.
Unsure that I was strong enough to withstand either possibility.

You came along and awakened new parts of me.
Love softened all the blows of the past,
and I longed for the normalcy that came so naturally to you.
When you shared your standards—a home, a family, no flights of fancy—
the left hemisphere of my brain shouted yes.
Yes to the security, yes to the classic American dream.
I was painting the picket fence white before we even bought these rings;
tucking my wings painfully inside a wedding dress
before either of us got down on one knee.
I wanted to embody what you desired of me.
I failed miserably.

Over and over again—three times at least, stretched over 12 years—
I tried to rip out my dreams as they kept growing like weeds.
More times than that, I tried to leave,
but found that these aspirations were empty
without your arms surrounding me.

My fingernails scraped the hard earth and I began to lose my grip,
Face pressed into the side of the cliff, I tasted my own tears.
At the end of my strength, when I could hold on no longer,
I could either let go of the ledge and lose it all,
or summon the will to scream.

I howled. A shrill, primitive wail of undiluted anger and resentment.

You responded with unexpected warmth and comfort,
brushing the soil from my battered wings,
and promising to love all the fragments of me
as we jointly try to fuse them solid, to heal the scars;
as you give me permission to pilot these hopes to the stars.

The wishes may never come true,
but they meant nothing at all without you.

If I had the self-assurance
to share my needs
from day one;
if I’d given you the chance
to let your love grow
beyond my limits.
Where would we be today?
Maybe so much further;
but maybe much less strong.
There must be a reason
that it took me so incredibly long.

Finally as we take flight, hesitantly but with love,
compromise, and a spirit of unselfish giving—
I know you love the hungry soul inside of me,
the one without the confidence
to feel good enough
on the ground.

And within that love,
I feel good enough—
whether I fall or fly.

photo credit: Lauren Paulsen

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