Faint Praise Intense and Glowing

From the collection published in 2015, Catch Up With Summer.

Faint Praise Intense and Glowing

I am a little girl, not very old,
when someone says
Full of pluck, you are. You have spunk.
It does not sound like praise
and it is not meant to be
but I take on the description
anyway. I find it useful to remember
when I’m sitting on the train before dawn
on my way to work
and so I think
As time has passed I have had a vision of myself
like a little car going uphill on the highway
and then I
floor the gas pedal and I catch up and pass everyone
and I’ve gone beyond
They’ve been everything to me,
spunk and pluck
though what I really wanted to hear back then was
Gorgeous, you are. You have glamor.

Mixed media, approximately 2003.

Mixed media, approximately 2003.

21 thoughts on “Faint Praise Intense and Glowing

  1. Tell you the truth, no! Interesting to think about, since these are house numbers where I have lived, the current house and the one before this one. I made this collage to commemorate moving from 172 to 451, around 2003. By the way the school bus number my son rode on (before we moved here where he could walk to school) was 451. Numerology…???

  2. Once again I find myself relating to your poem. I was always the scruffy tomboy and people used to enjoy telling me that. I knew it had a spiky edge to it but I took the term as a badge of honor and embraced the label I had been given. I’m still a scruffy tomboy and proud, to be honest. When I was in my teens, folks would say how I got the brains and my sisters got the looks. I tended to think that was a good deal. That deflected the insult. Determined was another somewhat negative adjective used for me that I made into a positive. Plunk and spunk are great qualities, ones I approve of.

  3. I’d rather have some grit myself because you need it to get through life. But it’s never presented in the same appealing way as beauty. Guess it doesn’t photograph as well.

  4. Ha! I do wonder if parents were provided with the opportunity to engineer a child’s DNA what proportion would choose aesthetics over good quality personality traits. I did once meet someone who claimed attractiveness was more a determiner of success than intelligence so long as you weren’t sub-par IQ. She believed all her success came from being physically attractive. I didn’t know how to respond to that.

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