A Higher Standard (Tanka)

A higher standard

Sacrificed to man’s mistakes

We are all human

When too much to live up to

It guarantees our failure

.
~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

I Listened

I listened, held my breath,

In between the whir of passing cars

I could here the sound of sparrows.

How strange this seemed,

As if I had never heard their song before.

Perhaps my ear has become more finely tuned,

Nay–very unlikely I suppose.

No, it is more likely that I shut up my mind,

Its incessant ramblings over things of little importance

Worries of work, family, responsibilities,

All imposed by me and this cursed ego.

For a brief moment there was blessed silence.

It leaves me thinking,

Had I only stopped sooner

The sparrows angelic song might have never left my ears.

 

~~Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

Perfection (Acrostic)

Predisposed to this ideal

Ever seeking, ever clawing, ever failing

Reaching the peak only to slide down

Falling, falling, falling

Etched with scars we are chided

Corralled into striving for greater greatness

Tortured and tormented into anxiety

I am obligated, I cannot disappoint

Only to find their utopia just beyond reach

Never realizing you have been perfect all along

 

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco

 

Metamorphosis (For My Daughter)

Faces in the crowd,

Nameless, peering through me,

Recognizing every minute flaw,

Silently laughing,

They whisper behind cupped hand,

Eyes dart in my direction then away,

Not so very subtle,

They think I’m oblivious,

But I see them,

I know what they are thinking,

I know what they are saying,

These things are not who I am,

One look in the mirror bears this out,

My reflection is unique,

Beholden only to me,

Blonde hair,

A shade unlike any other,

Ivory skin,

Imperfect, but my own,

Neither stick thin nor tall,

Comparisons to runway models are unfair,

Artificial life forms,

Moulded from botox and silicone,

Airbrushed to flawless perfection,

Idols born of magazine covers and centerfolds,

An unrealistic expectation for any young woman,

To live up to this cosmetic fraud is impossible,

Beauty is only skin deep,

Physical and momentary,

I am so much deeper than the shallowness of this pool,

If you could only see my essence,

The storm raging inside me,

Hopes, dreams, passions, opinions

Swirling like a typhoon,

A perfect storm,

Waiting to erupt with explosive force,

Breaking out of this cocoon of fear,

Leaving shards of this scared little girl,

In pieces on the floor,

Rising out of the wreckage,

A stronger more self-confident woman,

Able to speak for myself,

Defend my views,

Hold my head high in the face of adversity,

To cower no more,

Behind a mask of insecurity,

My opinions matter,

Commanding respect,

Regardless of whether we disagree,

I am an equal,

And I demand to be treated as such,

No longer subordinate,

My age, race and gender should have no bearing,

Yes, I may fall, but I will not break,

Yes, I may occasionally fail, but failing does not signal inadequacy,

I will sprain and bruise,

Scars left as reminders of experience gained,

But you must grant me this right of passage,

Allowing me to grow and become independent,

Crawling out from under my parents wings,

To stand unaided as if for the very first time,

An infant in a brave new world,

Opened up to be lived and explored,

I will voice my politics,

This is now my right,

Using my vote to shape the world I live in,

Unafraid to stand up,

Even when ridiculed by those of differing views,

This is their right as it is mine,

I will pay them no head unless civil,

Extremists hold no sway over me,

My hopes and dreams stand before me,

With open arms waiting to embrace,

I have the power of mind and body,

To grasp and hold all that I desire,

Be it business, education, the helping of others,

All these things are within my reach,

It is not for you to determine my passion,

You do not live within me,

But you benefit by my being,

I will break out of this shell,

Becoming all that life has endowed in me,

If I will just let me go.

~

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~