Perfect

by Corinne   Dec 22, 2009


Perfect

I catch myself thinking
I have to call my mother or
My mother would like
That Christmas card
With the kittens

But there are no more phone calls
And no more Christmases
For her
Or for me with her

No more wondering
What I would buy a woman who says
"I don't need anything"?
No more
Complaining that I
Have to take a bus and a train
And a bus
To visit her

In a perfect world
I would have been the perfect daughter
More attentive
More caring
More loving

In a perfect heaven
My mother would be with my father
He no longer yells
Or worries about money
Or forgets who she is
They would sing songs together
As they used to

On a perfect Christmas
There would be a
Silent Night
And that is what
I have now

But it seems
Less than
Perfect

December 22, 2009

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Latest Comments

  • 3 years ago

    by Liam

    Understated and subtle, if I believed the rating system did anything other than place the undefinable in categories, I would doubtlessly give this work a "5". THIS, is what art is about, this poem exposes the absurd quality of the death of an elder, and death in general. It's such a clever emotional poem that it provoked me to sit for a few minutes after reading it and contemplate my own family situation and life/death in general. I think the poem is really literate in sharing the perspective of pre-mourning and mourning with such seamless transitions between the two. This really communicates with the reader in a way that aggressively grabs attention and provides you, the author, with this almost surreal illusion of omniscience. The common theme of elders in the family becoming taken for granted and seen as burdensome in their later years is so subtly juxtaposed with the great sadness and guilt of mourning that it has this trance-like quality because it almost exists in a reality without time, where the past, present, and future exist simultaneously. It amazes me that it feels so raw and descriptive with so few words, like a great comedian rhythmically and masterfully delivering an audience-igniting punch line to a one-liner.

    The poem focuses on what was your fully informed opinion of your mother before her passing, which is overwhelmingly dull and burdensome (as is common). The poem completely ignores any notion of a positive quality of your mother; yet her passing leaves you lost, disturbed, hurt, and profoundly depressed. It really speaks to me, it shows that something is truly lost in our relationship with our elders in their last years of exponentially decreasing independence, something that is so deeply implanted and so emotionally potent, that the full extent to which we perceive it's potency requires their complete nonexistence to reintroduce it to us.

    Truly and honestly a powerful and thought-provoking work that deserves whatever awards it received when you posted it.

    Thanks as always, Liam.

  • 7 years ago

    by Halston Mather

    This poem was VERY touching. I just had another "lonely" Christmas this past '09. My heart goes out to you, if you need anything we are all here for you. ALWAYS remember, after every dark night, there is a brighter day. =)

  • 7 years ago

    by Chicken Soup

    I laughed, cried and shit my pants. Simply less than perfect. 5/5

  • 7 years ago

    by AwingAshes

    The simplicity of this poem awes me.
    I understand you and your feelings.
    A most deserving win, by far.
    -AA
    Hare Krishna.

  • 7 years ago

    by Lu

    Congrats on your win Corinne !
    Very deserving indeed