>Reflection on Imperfection


(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
angel’s …tush.

Partly hidden ornaments adorn lush limbs,
shiny balls peer from green mazes
and candy canes lavish properly perky
branch tips.

But Barbie’s bushy branches
leave little room for ornaments
lest adornments detract from her own
flawless beauty.

* * *

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
of  living.

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
long gone.

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

About Bonnie Schupp

Photographer and Renaissance woman.
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3 Responses to >Reflection on Imperfection

  1. >This is all vintage Bonnie bravo. Many years ago I was given a commission to design a tile panel that was intended to be placed atop the entrance of a kindergarten associated with the Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem. One of the tiles (baked at Palestine Pottery) turned out to be cracked, and the Provost (Bishop) of the church, a German, refused to pay my fee until the tile was fixed. He said he will only pay for a perfect job. Instead of making the effort to have the tile remade, I wrote him a verbose and rather pretentious essay attacking perfection saying things like "perfection is death" … he said it was the best letter he ever got and I was paid my fees. The panel is still there, right next to the Church of the Holy Sephulcre… see http://www.khtt.net/page/12322/en

  2. >Lovely poem Bonnie! Happy New Year to you and yours.

  3. >Vladimir, your story is interesting. Bravo!

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