|(c) Bonnie J. Schupp|
Refection on Imperfection
a spoken word poem
‘Tis the season for unreason
when green spills from wallets
of those believing in traditional pleasing.
‘Tis the season when people pine for a fine Christmas tree—
white pine, balsam fir, white spruce, Fraser fir, Douglas fir, scotch pine, whatever…
but it must be a wintergreen, evergreen, ever-perfect, perfectly-shaped Barbie doll bush.
In the nippy air, hundreds of Barbies form green lines
with straight spines, very vertical trunks, ample branches
each with a single perfectly-pointed top
waiting for its traditional spot up the
Partly hidden ornaments adorn lush limbs,
shiny balls peer from green mazes
and candy canes lavish properly perky
But Barbie’s bushy branches
leave little room for ornaments
lest adornments detract from her own
* * *
I wander far and wide, bucking the tide
wondering why I must settle for popular perception.
I search for Barbie’s ugly cousin,
a form, a shape that doesn’t fit the mold,
flat-chested for small house
It’s the wind-blown hair, the hole in the sock, the scrape on the knee, the spaghetti stain on the shirt, the pimple on the nose that tell a story
I like a crooked smile, spaces between teeth, scraggly hair, spindly legs
and skinny arms that reach out
open to discovery.
I want a tree that doesn’t hide,
that opens wide to embrace pride
held in accessories’ histories, their stories and the
love they imply.
I seek a spindly tree, the ugly factor with character,
one willing to show open spaces,
places for treasured ornaments grown dear over the years…
those that have lost their shine, are ragged from playful cats, have missing parts, the hippo of bedtime stories, an apple from a student, a violin recalling cacophonous practice, clothes-pin soldiers formed by tiny hands, hummingbirds like ones covering a morning field years ago in the Grand Canyon, a plastic dog a reminder of a lost pet, baby’s first Christmas 25-years ago, grandmother’s crocheted hobbyhorse and mouse, eloquent velvet-covered and pearl-studded balls made by a nearly blind friend
And then I see it—the orphan cousin in a heap
apart from the collection,
far from customers’ inspection.
I reflect on its simple beauty.
Missing branches leave
room for us.
I like my new bare and slightly crooked tree,
I like the way you hang your hand-painted sand dollar next to my beaded bird.
It is in the spaces where
we hang our love.
(c) Bonnie J. Schupp