One Intentional Mistake

how for years I was taught:
fly low under the radar.
Luisa Igloria, “Only

Amish quilters made intentional mistakes
because only God can craft
items of perfection.

I make mistakes without precision,
scattering them across my work
with great abandon, as if to ward
off evil spirits.

Those spirits will move
on to haunt those who are too proud
of their precise stitches, their perfect
children, their houses ready to grace
the cover of glossy magazines.

I fly under the radar
of every evil spirit with my chaotic
collection of art supplies spread
out across every surface, children frolicking
in paint or mud.

But my children get their nightly baths
before being tucked into beds with bright
quilts with crooked seams. I will tell
them one last story
about the woman who abandoned
the neatness of numbered columns
for the spatter of paint and the magic
of fairy cakes in the overgrown garden.

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Kristin Berkey-Abbott has published two chapbooks: Whistling Past the Graveyard (Pudding House Publications) and I Stand Here Shredding Documents (Finishing Line Press). She oversees the department of General Education at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale and she teaches as an adjunct at both Broward College and City College. She writes regularly about books, creativity, poetry, and modern life at her creativity blog, and she explores a variety of spiritual issues at her theology blog. Her website gives more information about her writing and her academic career.

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