“It’s not my job to be the world’s critic.” Jane McGonical

So many years ago I left the high of winning the Turkey Trot
At five o’clock
To the lows of learning college level French at ODU
At five-thirty.
“You must study your vocabulary,” said Professor Wigemot
“Oui,” was all I knew to say.

English, though, I can bust out an opinion
In a second
Where the highs of having survived college’s peak
Leave no time
For the inner voice to be quiet
As it has too much to say.

Often the conversation begins as an idea,
Something fabulous to capture on paper.
Quickly it can digress into excuses or insecurities
Before wasting into some unfortunate judgment
That is unfair to everyone
Unlucky enough to fall under its influence.

I fight with that voice
Sometimes able to quell it with distraction
But it has rooted its tendrils deep inside my brain
Proving it controls the switch, has the power
To revive negativity and insecurity
Whenever its fancy becomes the next mood.

Enough. The damage of this wiring,
This thinking has eroded a great deal of opportunity
To be at ease on the inside,
Just as I project to the outside.
Enough, inner child,
As Carlos said, “You will respect and honor me.”

Only, I have no patience for waiting on change.
Too bad, huh? Putting this lifelong voice to rest
Requires time for it will only get better
When the time is right.
For now, this is my judgment,
I’m ready for something different.

“Hold fast, then, to this sound and wholesome rule of life-that you indulge the body only so far as is needful for good health.” Seneca

Loss can be a gain
Nature only knows what’s so
For gains also lose
People know not when to stop
Nor when they should keep going


One, Mr. Kane
Was found barefoot
In the worst snow since ’47.
He was clutching a newspaper,
That which he had risked his life for
By walking the three miles to the store
Just so he could check out the results of betting and investing.

He labored in the cold winds
Pushing through the deep snow
That shut down the five boroughs
In a way that even the most fit
Could not have endured.
He had to know, though,
Had Brauilio won and Raytheon gained.

He would never know
Because at fifty three his life would end
In a bank of snow.
After disorientation from the cold
Smacked his poor perception down,
With only one mile to go, and after losing his shoes,
He collapsed while sitting on a little profit.

Mr. Baeza had ridden well
Tearing around the Tropical Park in Coral Gables
To three wins, a second, a third, and a sixth;
A handsome payday for Mr. Kane.
Raytheon was up one and three eighths,
Nearing the sell line.
It had been a good and bad day for Mr. Kane.