The Imperfection Option: A Parable for the Modern Woman

In the throes of our move, long-buried things have been bubbling up.  Mementos from every strata of my personal and familial history are suddenly rising to the top of various heaps, like bits of dinosaur suddenly churned to the surface of the La Brea tar pits.  It's kind of fun, in a sticky, sad, exhilarating kind of way.  

And one of the most fun things to appear from the distant corners of the ancient Sara Files has been this poem which I wrote years and years ago.  I believe my intention was to illustrate it at some point, but I believe that point has vanished long ago, never to return.

However, it is too much fun to keep to myself, so, Enjoy!

A Parable for the Modern Woman

Right on time, a child was born
A perfect girl, a perfect morn

For a baby, she was quite refined
Her diaper pail was velvet-lined

She played with recommended toys
Tried not to make excessive noise

And wore her hair perfectly parted
(she hardly ever even farted)

And up our girl grew, right on track
No sudden turns; no great leaps back

She earned her A's, performed her roles
Won her bees, achieved her goals

'Course teachers, parents, one and all
agreed she was a real doll

But as her world enlarged she found
That being perfect weighed her down

She lived with worries, guilts, and fears
put off her dreams for weeks and years

And folks she met began to ask:
"But who ARE you?  What is your task?

This pleasing stuff is old and tired
We want your gold!  Your light!  Your fire!"

At first, she didn't take their point
It all seemed rather out of joint

She smoothed her skirt and sighed and smiled
Minding her nails were polished and filed

Yet deep inside something was working
A change of life was slowly perking

Until one night she rose and cried
"By Goodness I've been mummified!"

She resolved right then to come unwound
This princess had to come uncrowned

She started with a tiny dare
and took the part out of her hair

Then, when the earth did not cave in,
she slipped her mask down to her chin

And when the planets stayed aligned
she leapt a leap that bloomed her mind

Plucking her ducks all off their row;
she loosed those fowl to the flow

With warts revealed and order scattered
she finally saw what really mattered

The sun beamed out, clouds scooted past
Our girl just laughed and laughed and laughed

She'd found the choice most worth adoption,
'Twas called the Imperfection Option!

Now she could try anything:
To paint! to dance! to write! to sing!

And so she did with flash and thunder
creating works of wild wonder

Sure, her garden grows both bugs and blooms
her house has several messy rooms

Her thighs are friends, her butt is broad,
that one neck hair is rather odd

And she has critics (both inner and outer)
who howl, whine, and sometimes doubt her

But when it piles fast and hard,
she pulls the imperfection card

And marches forth without great pause
a power-filled woman with human flaws

(She cannot really fail you see,
she practices humility)

So, if you, too, would like to soar
above the tight and pinched, the bore,

Plan for these words above your coffin,
"She Took the Imperfection Option!"

- Sara Saltee