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All The Right Things
“Galileo's head was on the block. The crime was lookin' up the truth.” - Indigo Girls
ALL THE RIGHT THINGS
I did all the right things,
the things everyone who is anyone -
the experts, coaches, and rock stars,
the somewhat famous and infamous,
the ones peddling franchises,
and get-rich-quick schemes,
the ones selling affirmations,
meditation, and karmic redemption -
told me to do.
I asked all the right questions -
”Do you know who you are?
”Do you know what you want?”
”Do you value yourself?”
”Do you sabotage yourself?”
”Do you follow your bliss?”
”Have you done your inner child work?”
”Have you cleared your chakras,
tapped your pressure points,
released your guilt,
cleared your past lives,
forgiven your abusers,
consulted your soul?”
I turned myself inside out -
reworked every piece of the equation -
resume, keywords, skillsets, portfolio,
50-characters-or less descriptions,
cover letters, interview tactics, and SEO optimization.
I networked at lunch clubs,
and ZOOM calls.
I bought a wig (because gray hair is shameful),
invested in serums, foundation, eye liner, mascara,
eye shadow, lipstick, and blush.
I applied, applied, applied
(2,311 submissions to date),
until my fingers and my eyeballs ached, and
I began to wonder if the person who told me,
”People like you never receive recognition
until after they die,”
might be right.
I did all the right things
but they were not my things,
not the things
only I can see and hear and touch.
Small, unobtrusive, and vigilant
they burn with determination,
rumble like the heart of a volcano,
and brush my cheeks with the tenderness
of a moth’s wings drawn to light.
They are things
that can only be heard in silence,
only glimpsed in pauses between breaths,
only recalled by voices
not bound by words.
ALL THE RIGHT THINGS REDUX
You are everything
you dreamed and more -
starlight distilled to flash points,
moon glow washing the day’s light clean,
the low sweet hoots of owls
soothing their young,
the nuclear embers of creation
precisely as it should.
You are its minstrel
and its scribe,
the source of its light
and its protector.
You are the keeper
of a promise
making its way
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Copyright 2023 by Jena Ball. All Rights Reserved.