Only

which amber
which old precedent
~ D. Bonta

I want to write about
the tyranny of only

how for years I was taught:
fly low under the radar.

When the gods give you something,
give thanks; but when others notice,

belittle its importance. Say it’s only
a trifle, only by chance. Don’t praise

too loudly the cleanliness of your house,
the neatness of your numbered columns,

the smooth-running engine of days that do work.
Point instead to the flaw in the bed-spread,

the uneven table leg, the trouble that hasn’t
visited your house yet. Do this often enough

and soon you’ll believe as I did: the moment
warm in your hands isn’t in itself a gift.

 

In response to Via Negativa: Ova.

2 Comments


  1. Self-deprecation is a funny thing. I too internalized it from an early age, but then of course I’m a straight male WASP so it’s a bit different. I do kind of agree with the once-traditional perspective that pride is a sin, but also see how that was used to oppress and suppress… In short, I don’t know what I think.

    Reply

  2. Haha. Yes, that seems to be indicative. The contradictory lessons we receive basically have the potential to f*ck us up.

    Reply

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