Because I had a thing for words, and I knew one day I wouldn’t be able to resist letting them loose. And in my mind, that was kind of a problem.
Almost Perfect, But Not Quite
The first poem I ever memorized was one by Shel Silverstein, amazing rhyme-maker and champion of my youth. His poem Almost Perfect was included in the book that I carried around like a treasure, and the words still easily spring to mind today. In this poem, Shel (we’re on a first-name basis) describes the entire life of a perfectionist gal named Mary, including her sad demise:
Ninety-eight the day she died
Complainin’ ’bout the spotless floor.
People shook their heads and sighed,
“Guess that she’ll like heaven more.”
Up went her soul on feathered wings,
Out the door, up out of sight.
Another voice from heaven came–
“Almost perfect… but not quite.”
—Shel Silverstein, “Almost Perfect.” A Light in the Attic
I love how Mary’s end is so silly and ridiculous, because if there’s one thing we know about heaven, it’s that it’s the only perfect place in existence.