Impotent Pursuit of Perfection

Watching a movie that I PVR’d –
hunkered down with popcorn and fizz,
hoping to get lost in the couch cushions –
when I remember that I might have homework
more specifically an assignment related to a show
already in progress, and I don’t know where I put
my backpack, and while searching frantically, suddenly
recall that I have more work due, and my boyfriend is
coming over in an hour, and I panic that I’ll never get
it all done, and then in a moment of clarity, realize
I am also taping the program in question, and sigh,
and take a breath: it’s doable if I stay up all night.

Riding in the backseat of a jacked up jeep –
the taste of freedom blowing through my hair –
when the driver hits a bump, catching me unaware,
sends my lack-of-seat-belted-ass into the air, and I
frantically grab the roll bar, praying to get my bottom
back in the seat before he hits another bump tossing
me out of the vehicle entirely, when I realize that we’ve
driven onto the field, the entire school filling the bleachers,
and if I lose my grip now, it won’t just be my body that will
be broken, but I run the risk of becoming the laughing stock
of the school: my entire reputation at stake from a joy ride.

This teenage angst is overwhelming me –
guidelines and deadlines – too much authority
and not enough free time – just want to break loose,
shake off responsibility, hang with my friends, be
foolish, and to hell with consequences, but my
A-obsessed sensibility and “good girl” persona
take charge, and there’s no slacking off, and
I’m locked in an eternal state of yet another
obligation to fulfill before I can rest, and in a
blink I am fifty-eight and a Grandmother, and
I still haven’t taken time to watch that movie
that I PVR’d or dared to joy ride without a hitch:
still tangled in the impotent pursuit of perfection.