When My Nose Begins to Ooze During an Interview

A hot iron steaming.
Wrinkles pressed out of
A white collared button down
To wear for a job interview,
FaceTime.
Still the serious real deal.

If only I could
Smooth out imprints of age
Lining my face too.
I sport the outline of washboard abs,
Have lots of pep and
Appear young for my years
But am in an industry
Where fresh youthful looks
Strapped to long tall legs,
Skinny arms and
Larger breasts
Reign.

That’s not me!

Even so, I retain
A fighting competitive spirit
Engaged with the world
And thus shape
What I can control.

I intend to be
In this game’s arena too
Because I excel at this work,
When given the chance,
And find, every now and again,
A plumb opportunity
Does come my way.

So, I take the time now
To carefully dress as though
Heading to a trade show
Complete with light makeup,
Minimalist silver hoop earrings
Paired with a small
Tasteful crystal necklace,
And closed-toed business shoes.

During our FaceTime conversation
I sculpt my speech
To appear confident,
Happy and capable
Though I realize with dismay
My allergies betray my poise
By acting up
Causing my nose
To begin a slow ooze.
I have no tissues closeby.
I try dabbing my nose
As inconspicuously as possible.

Overall, the interview
Progresses beautifully.
After, I try to
Get on with my day
Without placing too much
Hope or expectation
On the desired outcome.
I know I’m unlikely
To actually get a spot
On a small team
Amid the sea of other
Experienced, eager
And more modelesque candidates.

Still, there is something
Incredibly useful in
Having the experience of
Pretending like
I’m a well adjusted,
Polished person,
Even with a runny nose.

In playing this act,
Some seed begins to poke
Minuscule germinating tendrils
Out from under
My distilled muck
To reach up and out
For the clear blue sky.

I start to become
What I pretend,
At least some of the time.

Ooze

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Recitation–Running’s Score. Day 28 of Getting Dressed

IMG_4166

Moving within sore’s razor edge
I rise after the sun
Testing the sponginess
Of achy knees
Rubbing tender shins and ankles–
The twangs of
Middle age physical challenges–
To emerge from
Rock solid unconsciousness
The quality of which was
Unbeknownst to me
Before training began
For a half marathon
Upcoming mid October.

Monday, I attempt 10.5 miles,
One more mile than this week.
Can I really run that far?

But today, a day off.
I walk, instead,
To a bus stop farther away,
On purpose
Just to sustain motion
To relive the stretch and pull
In a slower, milder recitation
From the past week’s score.

Soft strides.
The absence of joints crunching upon
Paved impact feels novel.

My lungs fill at leisure
With oxygen.
I balance, sure footed,
Between morning sun respirations,
Early aspirations
Amid physicality’s exuberance.

Darker hours may mist my horizon
Other days, other times.
But here, now,
I embrace this slice of an hour
Head on
Full frontal
Monster gulps.

Recite

The So-Far-So-Great Carousel of Teen Children

Record player spins
Round and round.
The needle searches
Then falls into emotional groove
Playing earthy melodies
Textured by a hint of scratch.
A familiar carousel
Same old story
Riddled with tightly wound
Hand wrung butterflies
Fluttering nervously
Living on sips of
Negative thoughts intricately woven
With the thread of
Second guesses, self doubt.

Thank goodness the souls
Of my children feel more free
To spread out wide in themselves.
Comfortable wingspans
Of identity guide them
To explore life,
Have friends,
Enjoy high school.

Somehow, many of those things
Eluded me and still do.
We wish better for our children.

When “so-far-so great”
Appears to be their songs,
Be happy for them.
Go with the beat.

Carousel

Gratitude, a Serious, not Casual Matter, Especially on Run Days

Training for a half marathon
In October has brought me
These things to be grateful for, so far.

– Falling asleep within 2 minutes
Of head-to-pillow contact

– Sleeping so hard at night

– Ibuprofen to soothe
Knee inflammation and dull pain

– Being part of a larger community
Training and planning to run
Rock and Roll half marathon
With me,
Even if I don’t know
These people yet.
They are still in this
Together with me.

– Developing endurance and strength
So that running 4.5 miles
Does not feel as big of a deal
As it was when I began running
A month ago.

I Ran 8+ miles today
For the first time
With about 5 left to train.
Slowly but surely,
I’ve left the ranks of a
Once-around-the-2.5-mile-park trail,
Casual runner
To becone someone in training
For a longer race.

– Seeing positive body changes
As I begin to sport
The outline of legs
Just short of amazing–
Quads and calves rippling
In sunlight with muscled use.

– Having the health stay with me,
So far so good,
To make weekly incremental
Mile increases possible
Though my knees question
My comings and goings.

– Having the slow and steady
Determination to get out of bed,
Take ibuprofen,
Lace up my running shoes and
GO!
To run farther than I ever have,
Three days a week.

– Having a teenage son who is
Willing to run the race too
And who trains with me.

– Having sufficient energy, spirit
And space in my life
To undertake this new challenge,
Mile by mile.

Casual