Once I peeked inside my psyche,
found an injudicious vision
trapped behind a rash decision.
From the shadows sprang a spiky
flashing tongue that struck and stung me
right between the eyes. Unlike me!
Now I always ask permission
when I peek into my psyche.
Mary Boren, 2012
My modus operandi’s been misplaced.
Too often, guided by a flapping tongue
and jerking knee, I’ve captured barbs and flung
them carelessly about. Then, as I faced
my own reflection — sheepishly retraced
those clumsy steps — I’ve noticed how they stung.
Time truly crawls when Ego squirms. I’ve hung
my head in shame for words I spoke in haste.
So, Father, give me nothing that I ask
today, except perhaps some balm to soothe
a ruffled spouse or friend or fellow poet.
Please tilt the mirror sideways to unmask
the hidden part you see … and should it prove
to make me humble, Lord, don’t let me know it.
Mary Boren, 2005
A hearty bulb, I proudly stand
without apology. Your tears
are all the notice I command —
regard my scents as souvenirs.
I could have been a cauliflower
or purple cabbage just as well,
but tenderly, I hold a power
in secrets only I can tell.
For though I live and grow inside
a delicate, transparent skin,
you’ll never hear my breed described
as wishy-washy, weak or dim.
Through layers of protection as
incisors snap in search of meat,
the connoisseur will find pizazz
in me, a zesty bittersweet.
Mary Boren, 1996