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  You could have a big dipper   

Failed by Magin LaSov Gregg

I failed the tests: algebra, trigonometry, vision, driving, pregnancy

I failed to parallel park, years after my uncle taught me

with stolen roadside cones we failed to return.

I failed to say goodbye to my mother before she died, alone,

in bed, between dusk and dawn, in the middle of a dream

I hope never ends.

I failed diets: the more I counted and withheld,

the more I could not relinquish, the more I wanted to eat, and taste,

and savor.

I invented ten thousand ways to deprive myself, and even then,

I failed at following through.

I failed to thank the man who eyed me like a shiny popsicle

he wanted to try. When he quoted Maya Angelou as apology,

I failed to respond.

I failed to keep my mind from wandering the Zendo; instead

of floating past on a lazy river, thoughts piled up

like Salvation Army sweaters, and I held tight to their tattered threads

and I drank their mothy scent.

I failed to be a friend, to give more than I took, to call and to call back,

to say what I meant and mean what I said, to do the laundry, to be true,

to take out the trash, to walk the dog, make dinner, say I love you,

keep from arguing, keep calm, keep dust from

tarnishing all the baseboards and the rugs.

I roamed wild mountains of failure.

I climbed winding switchback paths,

bursting with brambles and unfolding like a fairytale

where thorns overtake the castle walls,

and a princess lowers her hair

to a prince pierced on the vines of rescue

I wandered deep thickets of failure.

I groped for the lesson darkness held.

I found the rustle of my breath, found

the unfailing tap of footsteps

turning to gold.


@MaginLaSovGregg, lives with her husband, Carl, and four fabulous rescue pets in a slightly haunted house in Frederick, Maryland. She enjoys binge-watching "The X-Files," baking gluten-free bread, and taking long walks without the distraction of an iPhone.

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