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,
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.