Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (I hear the cardinal)

I hear the cardinal
sound his call, his metallic “chip, chip, chip!”
I wonder whom he is warning off,
or what he is challenging.

I peer up at the nest,
notice the shredded, grimy bits of plastic.
I think about how nothing is perfect,
yet we are challenged to reach perfection.

I touch the branch,
reaching up from the step ladder, and pull down.
It is empty.  No shells.  No feathers.
Desolate and lonely.

Perfection’s Imperfection

My mom tells me
That her mom told her
That if everything were perfect
We’d be in heaven.

I’ve let perfection lure me
Into its barren landscape long enough.
I’m letting go of idealized outcomes and performances.
I’m embracing the muddy garden and all its mess.

I’m almost perfect in my imperfection;
I just need a little more practice.